“My First Blog”, by Emanuella Acquaviva, 3rd year Mental Health student nurse

Emanuella  Acquaviva, reflects on her week curating the @nursingSUni account

 

“…I had contemplated doing it for few weeks, but now I am glad that I finally did it!!” My week curating the undergraduate nursing twitter account @nursingSUni (14th July-21st July).

 

On the first day, as soon as I logged into the account I felt overwhelmed by the amount of messages appearing on the screen, but seeing encouragements coming through the notification icon from nursing lecturers made me feel more at ease and knowing that I was fully supported.

The week began with the aim to encourage more students to use the university twitter account as a way to communicate with others (professionals and fellow students) who shared the same passion for nursing and had a common goal, which is to make a difference in people lives. My other goal was to raise the account profile and at this point my ambition didn’t stop: I wanted to increase the number of followers aiming to reach 1,700 followers from the 1,639 followers, and I felt proud that this was achieved.

 

In a world where the nursing landscape is changing, I believe that it is fundamental to be fully informed of what is happing around us, and the use of social media is definitely the way forward. However, I do understand that the digital world is not for everybody, and initially I too was very sceptical about being part of it. The use of social media is a controversial issue and there is an ongoing debate as to whether its use is beneficial to its users. I only started using twitter a few months ago after a friend of mine suggested that this would be useful for me being a student, and keep me informed about current affairs, and so I did. At first I felt a bit lost but soon became familiar with it and started enjoying taking part in chats that discussed nursing, health and social care issues.

 

On Monday 14/07/14 PhD Cristina Vasilica @cristinavas discussed the importance of engagement with social media #someuse and talked about @GMKInet which is a Kidney Information Network developed by kidney patients for kidney patients to provide each other with support and advice. And this is just one of the many good examples of the benefit of engaging with social media.  A great advocate of the use of the social media within the nursing community is Teresa Chinn @AgencyNurse, a registered nurse who strongly believes that “social media has a role to play in getting key conversations going”. The most exciting part of the week was Thursday Night (17/07/14) where I took part in the @wenurses conversation, which was all about patients’ feedback. I felt very strong about this topic. For those who don’t know me, I have been working with later life services over the past ten years and caring for patients with physical, mental and social care needs. So, I was switching from my personal twitter account to the university account, as I wanted my voice to be heard and express my thoughts. The discussion made me aware and gave me insight into how the #wenurses community is extremely passionate and committed to ensure we get it right.

 

Curating the university twitter account has been a great experience, and I feel that tweeting has boosted my confidence. For me it’s all about learning and sharing information, expanding knowledge, and experience in order to understand and promote best practice. Furthermore, I feel that it is important to acknowledge and thank the nursing lecturers who have introduced and created the university twitter account @wlainclair @levylass @neilwithnell who strongly believe in the value of social media in nurse education.

In conclusion, I would recommend curating the account to all student nurses and encourage them to engage with the twitter community to interact and take part in discussion that matters to patients and promote best practice.

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