Rachel Roberts reflects on her week as curator

Rachel Roberts is a September 2012 Mental Health student nurse, and reflects on her week 

(24th March – 31st March 2014)

I volunteered to curate the account in the week leading up to the examination for the ‘mental and physical health and well being across the lifespan’ module. For those of you reading yet to have encountered the delights of this (admittedly, fantastic) module, the exam is about as big as it gets. Tons of theory to revise and three hours to get everything out on paper. I hoped that curating the account would give me some  down time from the intensity of revision- and it proved to be a good decision!

Monday saw me settle in by chatting to March 2013 students about their new placement allocations- always an exciting day! It was good to see them using the school twitter account to liaise with students who had experience of their new allocations and everything I saw was positive and encouraging. I also reassured a few new March 2014 students that, contrary to initial impressions, the PDP process won’t finish them off! I vividly recall the abject horror/terror I felt on first realisation of those files- but how quickly I got into the habit of collecting evidence and goal setting in my first year.

Tuesday was mostly a day of revision for me while replying to anyone who needed advice but I made sure to follow the @wenurses tweetchat in collaboration with the Cochrane Centre. It proved to be an eye opener, realising that the evidence commonly used in practice behind pressure ulcer care is often quite flawed. For example- did you know a review of evidence by the Cochrane Centre found no trials to support repositioning for pressure ulcer management?  It was advised to look into SSKIN bundles as championed by the #stopthepressure initiative, you can play a game to get started with SSKIN here

Wednesday saw September 2012 students having appointments with personal tutors for our placement 5 sign off, so I was on-line less. I made sure though to thank tutors who kindly allowed student’s children into their meetings due to industrial action closing many schools. It was also great to see tweets from September 2012’s own Claire Hornigold – who has been short-listed in the ‘outstanding contribution to practice placement’ category at the Student Nursing Times Awards in May. Congratulations again Claire!

Thursday saw a return to pressure ulcers, as Salford University played host to an NHSIQ/Harmfree care event on this very theme, hosted by Melanie Stephens. Students took part in an interactive and educational day, producing visual art and musical pieces around pressure ulcer management, and were sure to tweet all about their experience. A review of the day can be found here.

There was a second great @wenurses chat to take part in on Thursday, in partnership with @6Cslive – this time on the need for strong, courageous leadership in practice to foster a culture of compassionate care, and challenge poor practice. It was heartening from the student perspective to hear so many nurses ‘way up the food chain’ saying they believed students could -and should- act in leadership positions and should be supported to do so.

Friday was D Day – exam time and it was lovely to see the outpouring of good wishes from previous students, new starters and staff alike for September 2012, thank you again. The exam went as well as I could hope and before I knew it, it was was time for Bedpans and Bandages on ITV, and the associated twitter chat. This week the focus was Salford heavy- and we saw plenty of footage of our simulation lab and the hard work that goes on, including a glimpse of child lecturers Amanda Miller and Wendy Sinclair. We also saw some fantastic Children and young People’s students, Danielle Harrison and Abubaker Suleman out on placements – Danielle tweeted us to say she was working on the ward while the programme aired and she’d been ‘spotted’ by patients and families -which must have been a surreal but great experience.

The rest of the weekend passed fairly quietly, with the main concern for people seeming to be the clocks changing! Lots of nurses and students concerned that they’d sleep in and miss their early starts.

I really enjoyed my week curating the account, it was great to see so much positive use of social media. When I hosted the @wenurses account for a day back in December, I found some questionable tweets that were not professional, or contained inappropriate language. These were by people stating they were nurses/nursing students  in their twitter bio. This wasn’t the case with the followers and tweeters during my week on this account, happily!  I’m already looking forward to curating another week in summer and I’d recommend any student to give it a go. It isn’t hugely time consuming and it’s a fun and easy way to learn and develop new connections. Thank you for having me!

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