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Kent critical care nurses using social media to spread best practice on sepsis

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Critical care nurses in Kent say they are successfully using social media to share best practice and ideas, including when it comes to raising awareness of potentially deadly sepsis.

The nurse-led critical care outreach team, which works across three hospitals at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, says using social media is a great way to get key messages across.

“We like to think we have embraced technology”

Grace McMahan

The 15-strong team supports nurses and doctors to care for seriously ill patients on standard wards, rather than being admitted to the critical care unit.

“We use Facebook and Twitter, both of which enable us to share ideas and videos and help to us get across best practice in the way that we deliver care to our patients,” said critical care consultant nurse Debbie Higgs.

“A smartphone is all you need and most of us have one of those,” she said. “Social media has taken on in an amazing way with our staff. If we can use it to help care for our patients and support our clinical staff, then that’s got be a good thing.”

The team’s innovative use of social media platforms has included uploading video clips featuring advice from nurses and other clinicians at the trust on various topics and, in particular, sepsis.

As part of the trust’s drive to raise awareness of sepsis, staff are also awarded “sepsis star” certificates when they “go above and beyond” in recognising and treating the condition.

These achievements are celebrated and shared on social media with photos of recipients and their awards.

In addition, the team has used social media to advertise study days for staff and promote other education opportunities as well as share topical news, including articles from Nursing Times.

Senior sister, Grace McMahan, said the team had found social media to be a highly effective way of communicating with staff.

“We like to think we have embraced technology,” she said. “Using social media and video clips can often be more effective than just sending an email to a colleague – it’s far more eye-catching and interesting.”

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Nurses using social media to spread best practice on sepsis

Grace McMahan and Debbie Higgs

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