This is a bit delayed from my week curating as I’ve had my head in books and articles revising for my upcoming exam.
I’ve used Twitter in a personal capacity since January 2009 and am a big proponent of social media being a big part of social change and having being introduced to the network that nurses have started building across social media in my first year. Hearing how much passion @levylass and @wlasinclair talk about how social media can change nursing and the way in which is can assist teaching inspired me to get more involved in it. Don’t shy away from social media for fear of doing wrong. Sure, you’ll make a mistake once in a while; that’s how you learn and you sure as hell won’t make it twice.
Before curating the account, I started exploring the community @WeNurses and started getting involved in the tweet chats that they hold. I learned that they’re a fantastic opportunity to not only be social with nurses and other practitioners I wouldn’t normally be able to come into contact with but to share resources and evidence based best practice in order to build my own knowledge. Following this I was happy to volunteer for the WeGetTogether (#WGT16) as a student volunteer and had a wonderful day talking with different practitioners who all had the same passion for social media and healthcare. During my curation, I made specific time to be involved in the tweet chat held by @Wenurses on Reflection and was able to discuss and share my thoughts and resources to others. I was particularly happy that I got positive feedback on my contributions sharing simple tips and models of reflection I use and make get some new followers from this chat.
My week was centred around my first branch specific model and was very excited to share my passion for mental health whilst using the account. I believe mental health and mental health nursing is unfairly stigmatised by not only the public but by other nurses/students as well. When in the start of the year discussing which branch we were from and disclosing that I was doing mental health it brought about comments such as “that’s scary, don’t the patients all attack you” and similar comments along the same theme. It’d be untrue to say that mental health clients are not going to become aggressive/violent but the same could be said of any patient. Any aggression stems from their own anxiety and fear reacting to their illness in the same way that someone with a physical illness reacts to their pain. As student nurses we owe mental health service users exactly the same compassion and care that we would offer a patient who is suffering from a physical illness but sadly this is not always the case. I’d hope, in some small way, that discussing mental health themes and addressing and challenging this stigma through tweeting from the @nursingsuni account and my own that it can in some way bring about a change even in a few people’s minds.
I’ll leave you with a quick thank you to Wendy, Moira and Neil for their support and a favourite quote of mine from Margaret Mead
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”