Mighty oaks from little acorns grow……..

Week 2 13/01/2014 – 20/01/14 Moira McLoughlin @Levylass

Monday 13th January 2014 and @wlasinclair handed over the keys, oops I mean the tweeting account to me at 0707 but officially it was nearer 0815, and one of my first tweets was about the power of positive thinking. Interestingly, some people assume that this means seeing the world through rose-coloured glasses or glossing over the negative aspects of life, but it actually means approaching a challenge with a positive outlook. I saw my week of curation as a challenge, (I had a fairly full diary with marking and assessments) but also one related to continuing the momentum that Wendy had started the previous week. We really want this account to work for a number of reasons (see Wendy’s blog last week) and it has brought home to me how some initiatives don’t always take off as and when you want them to. The meaning of ‘mighty oaks from little acorns grow’ literally means great things come from small beginnings and we had already had some small beginnings with a School of Nursing account but this had only had a faltering start.  In March 2013 full of enthusiasm and excitement I and one of the School student reps of the time @emm_ao had tried to introduce using twitter into Freshers week for student nurses, and I had also wanted it as a more effective communication channel following staff student committees that I chair. In our naïveté had assumed that we would get many of the new freshers tweeting but we hadn’t accounted for first day nerves amongst other things, so although we were tweeting @JaneMCummings to let her know we were introducing the #6C’s from the outset and we had set up our hashtag #nursingwelcome13 we omitted to consider some of the simple things, such as first day nerves, coming to University for the first time, or even just having a twitter account.  Emma is now a qualified mental health nurse and will be an asset to any team. But, move forward six months and we now have a small team dedicated to making this happen, we have a plan of action that includes involving and supporting our students to be part of this initiative.

We have this blog. We have moved on.

The rest of the week went past in a bit of a blur to be honest and it was sometimes very hard to concentrate on the job in hand as I was attending a funeral on the Friday of a very close friend of mine. I increased our followers and that felt good. We celebrated the fact that another student @PaulaEvans13 became a #caremaker and I discussed with @wlasinclair whether nurse lecturers should also become #caremakers? I was able to answer almost instantly some student queries  (@soontobenurses) as they had received exam results and quite understandably there was anxiety for some about resits. I got into a discussion about patients stories #NHSChangeDay related to respecting and caring for older people but more importantly how we educate the next group of qualified nurses to communicate effectively for patient benefits, or as @DebHazeldine put it so well, ‘takes great courage for some to stand & be heard, & takes great courage for some to sit down and actually listen…

The other exciting tweet of the week that took place was on 15/01/2014 about 8pm, I had been on the University website and saw that we had student midwife, Paulina Ewa Sporek,  in the running for a national midwifery award, @RCM, which she has subsequently won for her project “Deaf Nest @deafnest and been shortlisted for an Outstanding Student Midwife Award, by the Cavell Nurses Trust Scholarship.  Our students are creative, innovative and here for the right reasons, in the main, so we are all proud when they achieve and by using twitter in this way we can celebrate part of their achievements with them.

Monday 20th January came round too quickly in lots of ways but I was also happy to hand over to @neilwithnell as that is part of our strategy, we want this to be a journey of many, working in partnership with students and colleagues.

Can you be part of it? Can you do it?


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