During the first few weeks of my nurse training, we were given the social media “talk”, i.e. use it with extreme caution and preferably do not use it at all.
With frank discussion in the forefront of my mind, I deleted my Facebook account and began my training quiet blinded from social media usage.
Before I started my 2nd year I applied and was given the role of student editor for Student Nursing Times. This role would allow me to blog online about my journey as a student nurse and support other students with worries and concerns….via Facebook and Twitter!
Now call me naive, but even with my worry of using social media, I was a little confused by what twitter even was. But I thought to myself “I am a professional student nurse, I can use this twitter in a professional capacity”, and I opened my account: @loukgoody.
I thought Twitter was for the young and hip, cool and free thinking students who tweeted daily about stuff they liked, clothes they wore etc…
How very wrong I was!
Twitter has been an absolutely amazing media for me personally and professionally. It has enabled me to connect with other student nurses from far and wide, discussing all matter of student related topics. I have been involved with student nursing times twitchats,about NMC code, healthy eating, professionalism. Also worries and concerns and fears from student nurses.
Social media (or #SoMe) is now something I encourage all the time. I signpost student nurses to The Code http://www.nmc-uk.org/nurses-and-midwives/advice-by-topic/a/advice/social-networking-sites/ on social media usage.
Twitter can be used to great effect for student nurses. It can help you learn what is current in the nursing world, network with likeminded student nurses and make lots of friends. I have found great support from many nurses on twitter who I would not have met, and they have given myself and other students advice, tips, weblinks and many more ideas and encouragement.
But a word of advice: Use social media with caution. Read The Code, do not post pictures of yourself that are inappropriate, never discuss patients or air work related grievances. Be professional at all times but above all enjoy, it is an area of nursing that is up and coming, follow @StudentNT @wenurses @Nurchat and many more to gain great tips and advice.
Louise Goodyear is Student Nursing Times’ adult branch student editor