When I told them my friends in advertising how I use social media as a student nurse they were surprised, but to me it makes perfect sense.
My cohort has set up a Facebook group so we can post questions about essays and placements.
Using the internet and social media can help to create a close-knit student nursing community
Our mental health branch has a separate one too, which is really helpful considering we don’t get to spend much time together at duni. I’ve found this support network incredibly helpful on many occasions. Student nurses used to live together during their training, which still happens in university halls, but not to the same extent. Using the internet and social media can help to create a close-knit student nursing community.
Twitter is fantastic for connecting with individuals that you might not otherwise come in to contact with. It’s perfect for sharing things you find interesting as well as seeing links others post.
Quite often I see articles that are relevant to something I’ve experienced in practice or would be useful in an essay. I follow fellow students, experiences nurses, other healthcare professionals and service users. Being able to hear these different opinions to formulate my own has obvious benefits for developing my professional practice. Of course, twitter is a invaluable for finding new opportunities – it’s how I discovered that Student Nursing Times were appointing student editors through @studentNT.
My favourite aspect of nursing social media is participating in Twitchats. These are organised discussions that anyone can join in and are a great way of learning new things. @NursingTimes has one on wednesdays at 1pm using #NTtwitchat.
Having taken part in several I felt inspired to start a mental health specific chat, @MHNurseChat, with @MrsGracePoole. It’s held fortnightly, Mondays at 8pm. Our next chat is 14th January where we will be discussing physical health in mental healthcare.
Using twitter to connect with fellow nurses is a great way to find out about different areas of practice that you might not get to experience during your training.
Despite all of this, there is not much (if any) mention of social media in pre-reg nursing education. The only thing I remember being told about it was to use it carefully, drummed in to us all in freshers’ week. The NMC have produced guidance on social media use, which is of course important to remember. But it’s evident that social media is of a huge benefit to the nursing community.
What are your thoughts on using social media? Have you found it to be useful for your development as a nurse?
Natalie Moore is the mental health branch student nurse editor of Student Nursing Times