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OPINION

Do you tweet? Do you want to?

You can use twitter to learn the latest goings-on in nursing. Not know where to start? We can help …

What is twitter?

Twitter is a bit like listening to the radio, but this time you can talk to it and it might talk back. With twitter you can decide who you want to follow, from Lionel Richie to the editor of Nursing Times, and see what they have to say. By listening in to their ‘tweets’, phrases 140 characters long a bit like facebook status updates, you can find out what is important to them, what’s new and what they’re doing.

What’s the point?

Twitter is a fantastic way to keep in touch with people that you know, people you’d like to know and what’s new in nursing. It can also help inform service users about work you are doing, or help you gather opinions about something you want to know more about, whether that’s intentional rounding or the latest in dementia research.

How do I get started?

  1. Create a twitter account. Go to twitter.com online, you will be asked to choose your twitter name which always starts with an “@” E.g. @NursingTimes
  2. Add some information. Add a photo and write a short bio to describe yourself.
  3. Start following people. Follow some people by searching in your search box for relevant words like ‘nurse’ or ‘dementia’ or ‘hospital’ and then clicking ‘follow’. Tweets from these people will now appear in a list on your homepage.
  4. Tweet. Remember, you’re only allowed 140 characters so it’s good to keep them short and to the point. Do you have a question you want answered or do you feel strongly about a particular issue? If so, tweet about it.
  5. Retweet. You don’t have to write anything, instead spend some time reading other peoples tweets and if you find something interesting click ‘retweet’. This will forwards the tweet to your followers.

Who should I follow?

Here are some recommendations for you to follow from our Nursing Times team:

How to get the most out of twitter:

  • Take a sneak peek at the people that other tweeters follow by clicking on their name and then clicking on their followers. You can choose to follow these people too.
  • Search for hashtags and you’ll be able to follow a conversation about a particluar topic. E.g. #nursecommissioning.
  • Create your own hashtags (use the symbol) before writing your tweet in order to create your own debate eg #nhs or #reforms

Things to remember:

  • Your tweets can  be retweeted to a larger audience, so don’t write anything you don’t want the world to know about!
  • If you tweet as a nurse remember patient confidentiality and your professional responsibilities.

Who do you follow on twitter?

Readers' comments (3)

  • Hi I have recently tweeted my 10 top tips on using Twitter for PREP that is freely available at

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/57591931/10-
    Ways-Nurses-Can-Use-Twitter-for-PREP

    @politicalnurse

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • brilliant ... great to see nurses starting to get invovled and some great tips.

    @political nurse some fab tips too .. i think we are all starting to talk the same language but lets make sure we can see eachother by using #nurseuk, take a look for more information : http://slidesha.re/o5RoEK

    tweeting is a great way for nurses to talk and share ... glad to see that we are starting to use this fab tool.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • No I don't, and I don't face book either, especially after the latest warning from the witchfinder generals the NMC.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

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