We talk to Teresa Chinn, who has been a nurse for nearly 20 years, and is a registered nurse and social media specialist working at WeNurses.
Why did you decide to become a nurse?
I had a summer job in a care home and I met an amazing nursing sister there who inspired me and encouraged me to apply for nursing college.
Where did you train?
University of Surrey.
What was your first job in nursing?
A staff nurse on a urology ward.
What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?
I’m not brave enough. Being quite an introverted person, I get nervous when meeting new people or going into new situations and I often kick myself for not being brave during those times.
From whom have you learnt the most in your nursing career and why?
A lovely nurse called Anne, who I met on Twitter, once taught me that if you make a difference to just one person, then you have succeeded.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the profession?
Tweet! It opens up so many possibilities, as it gives you a world of expertise and support in the palm of your hand.
Tweeting opens up so many possibilities, as it gives you a world of expertise and support in the palm of your hand
What keeps you awake at night?
Usually my phone pinging with tweets!
What’s the most satisfying part of your job?
I spend a lot of time talking to nurses about using social media to connect and grow professionally, and occasionally people stop me at conferences and tell me that they heard me speak somewhere, started engaging on Twitter and haven’t looked back.
What’s your proudest achievement?
Becoming an MBE.
What do you think is likely to change nursing in the next decade?
Nurses will become more connected online, and we will use those connections to inform and drive our practice. We will also use technology more to connect with and care for our patients. I think social media has a huge role to play in nursing in the next decade.
Which job would you have done if you hadn’t become a nurse?
A writer. I would love to have been able to give people that ‘end of book’ feeling
What job would you like to be doing in five years?
I really don’t know but whatever it is, so long as I can keep making a difference, it will be worthwhile.
What do you think makes a good nurse?
Nurses who understand that nursing is both an art and a science.
If you could change one thing in healthcare, what would it be?
That people would take social media seriously and realise that it is a powerful tool in healthcare.
What would your ideal weekend involve?
Lots of time with my family.
If you could spend an hour in someone’s company, who would it be and why?
A geeky answer, but it would be social media guru Erik Qualman. He said: “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.” I would love to discuss with him how we could get more people to do social media well in healthcare.