Well what a week…

Well what a week it’s been, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my week as curator of the @nursingSUni  Twitter account and despite having a pretty busy teaching workload it has shown me the true value of twitter as a professional learning and connecting tool.

It’s a bit strange tweeting on behalf of a group rather than myself and I often found myself double checking what I should and shouldn’t post and re-tweet, thinking about the aims and purpose of the group and if what I am interested in would be so for others. I think it’s this sense of responsibility that can sometimes get a little bit forgotten when we have access to instant communication though as recent items in the news have shown.

I find being made of events and opportunities, that I wouldn’t normally come across, a massively important part of twitter. On Monday, thanks to a twitter tip off, I attended my first Death Cafe in Stockport, envisioned and run by a local funeral planner, it was a very interesting and enlightening discussion of how this “taboo” subject is increasingly being talked about and discussed. It seems the underground grapevine has now become the omnipotent  information superhighway with once marginal events that relied on the word of mouth now gaining huge public exposure thanks to social media.

Raising awareness of the documentary about student nurses life filmed partly here at Salford was also in the twitter news this week. Bandages and Bedpans follows students nurse from Birmingham and Salford as the progress through their academic and clinical studies and the first part is due to be screened on the 14th of February. Its scheduled for 8.00 on  ITV on Friday nights so smack in the middle of Corrie!

The @wenurses discussion of visiting hours on Thursday evening was lively and busy and Wendy Sinclair (@wlasinclair) did a sterling job of trying to keep track of all the fascinating views that were being presented. The views seemed to clearly state that surely we should be more patient centered, flexible and individualised in our approach to patients receiving visitors but also had a duty to ensure rest and privacy for all. More research into the views of patients also was proposed by many tweeters.

Throughout the week I have been made increasingly aware of the importance of developing a learning community that can share and support outside of the four walls of the classroom, democratising the direction and flow of information and empowering everyone who wants to get involved to have a voice and contribute to the discussion. I really feel this is something that will continue to gain strength and instead of being wary and suspicious of social media in a professional context we need to nurture it and help it flourish, I thank Wendy, Neil and Moira for instigating this twitter forum and look forward to my next stint at curating.

@David_Garbutt

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