Twitter – a great medium for learning, debate and sharing innovation
Twitter is ideal for nurses and nursing students to start a discussion and debate, share innovative practice and, as lifelong learners, keep up to date with evidence-based care.Picture: Alamy
The social media platform is often the first place new ideas and concepts are aired. Even if you dont tweet, it is likely you know about campaigns that successfully used Twitter to raise awareness, such as Dr Kate Grangers ( @GrangerKate ) Hello my name is . Tommy Whitelaw, who was a keynote speaker at this years RCN congress in Glasgow, tweets under the username @TommyNtour to raise awareness of dementia by sharing his mothers story.
Twitter is ideal for nurses and nursing students to start a discussion and debate, share innovative practice and, as lifelong learners, keep up to date with evidence-based care.
The social media platform is often the first place new ideas and concepts are aired. Even if you don’t tweet, it is likely you know about campaigns that successfully used Twitter to raise awareness, such as Dr Kate Granger’s (@GrangerKate) ‘Hello my name is…’ . Tommy Whitelaw, who was a keynote speaker at this year’s RCN congress in Glasgow, tweets under the username @TommyNtour to raise awareness of dementia by sharing his mother’s story.
From my Twitter account @DiverseLearners, I raise awareness of dyslexia and dyspraxia. I share real-life examples of how students are being supported on placements, which can be replicated by others across the NHS.
A Tweetchat – when people on Twitter meet at a specific time to tweet about a certain topic – is another great learning opportunity. A discussion with others interested in the chosen topic is a great way of improving your communication and critical thinking skills, and increasing your knowledge.
We have worked collaboratively with @Physiotalk @Nurchat and @WeNurses, all of whom hold regular Tweetchats and publish Twitter guidelines on their websites. The sites also archive the diversity-themed Tweetchats co-hosted by Diverse Learners. A certification of participation is given for contributing to a Tweetchat, and WeNurses provide post-chat reflection templates that can be used for revalidation.
At Plymouth University, students’ interaction on Twitter contributes to ‘digital professionalism’, which represents 10% of the marks for the Ways of Knowing module.
We also hold Twebinars – webinars run at the same time as a Tweetchat – with @WeNurses and Plymouth University. You can tune into the webinar to watch a panel, which always includes a student, discuss questions that come in via Twitter.
Twebinars also include tips for students and simple solutions to enable practitioners and trusts to adopt an inclusive approach. Past topics include placements, supporting neurodiverse learners – a term that encompasses dyslexia and dyspraxia – and the role of social media in supporting diversity.
Nursing students experience difficult and stressful times, but Twitter has a whole network of support, including @RCNstudents, Plymouth University’s @Punc14 and Salford University Nursing Students @NursingSUni. They share stories, encourage you and signpost you to resources, saving time and energy.
If you haven’t done so yet, give Twitter a try and access some great learning opportunities.
About the author
Kerry Pace (@DiverseLearners) is a specialist tutor and founder of Diverse Learners, a team of health and social care practitioners who provide disability support and training to the healthcare sector.
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