This blog is part of the WeNurses Social Media May focus month – find out more about how to get involved here
I have been doing this social media and nursing lark for a good few years now … and I have to say that it has had a huge impact on me, both in terms of my nursing career and my personal life. Mostly the impact has been positive, with a few challenges sprinkled in along the way … just to keep me on my toes ! But what of the future? What next ?? Where do we go from here in terms of nursing and social media?
In order to look forward I often feel that it is important to look back, to reflect on how far we have come and learn and grow from there…. and with social media and nursing we have come so far. We ventured out into social media quite tentatively as nurses, we were cautious and many organisations advised or mandated that nurses should not use social media at all. Those of us who did venture into into the worlds of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn seemed to use it to merely connect and network. We took our time …
And over the years social media use by nurses has evolved and we now use it for many different reasons:
- To connect and network
- To learn
- To reflect
- To stay updated on news & events
- To look after our own health and well-being
- To connect with the people we all are for and enable them to connect with each other
- For research
- To enhance our digital footprint
- To share best practice
- To promote what we are doing
- To celebrate
….. and sooooo much more !
So what is next ?? Let me just go and fetch my crystal ball a second …… who am I kidding ?? I don’t know how social media and nursing will continue to evolve … I am a nurse not a fortune teller ! However perhaps I can instead explore my hopes for nursing and social media …
Social media and mental health – as social media becomes more ingrained in the way we work I think we need to start to pay more attention to the relationship between social media and mental health. We are in danger of being “always on duty” as nurses as we use social media more and more and we need to ensure that we are aware of the mental health implications of this and it’s my hope that as social media evolves we will be able to give nurses the tools to do this
Learning and reflecting – Henry Ford famously said “if I’d have asked people what they wanted they would have said ‘faster horses’” and this hope is a bit like that … I would love to see more learning and reflecting across social media by nurses. It’s such a great tool that getting more nurses to use it it more often for learning and reflecting remains high on my wish list.
Connecting with the people we care for – the pandemic has seen us start to explore social media in different ways and we are starting to make great strides in connecting with the people we care for in social media spaces and enabling them to connect with one another. Throughout the pandemic we have also seen the use of social media to connect with families and friend of the people we care for. It’s my hope that this work continues once we come out of the pandemic and we continue to explore this really valuable use of social media in nursing.
That we don’t go back to being cautious and we continue to evolve – there is a danger that as more nurses explore social media that the powers that be will become nervous … I truly hope that we don’t let this happen & that we continue to push forward in the use of social media in nursing.
That we don’t forget that this is where people are – this is so important! Social media use is growing year on year, more and more people are using social media in different ways and more and more social media are being invented and championed. In nursing we need to remember that despite the challenges that social media throws at us ultimately this is where people are so this is where we should be too.
My what next may not be a what next in the truest sense of the term … but who knew that social media would have taken us where it has 10 years ago ?? It seems almost impossible to comprehend the true possibilities so we must grab every opportunity to evolve and move forward. We have gone way beyond no longer having a choice on weather we do social media … social media is here to stay … we have to embrace it, use it, and shape it to help us to provide the best possible nursing care.