I had the great opportunity to curate the @nursingSU twitter account for a week (07.11.16 – 13.11.16). I thought it would be something really easy and simple to do, you know – browse twitter like I already do with my own social media. Boy, was I wrong! The twitter account has quite the following and vast amounts of notifications came with it. I was far from prepared for that bit, although I did feel very popular for a week! During my time as curator, I was on my first week of placement and was lucky that I worked 8:00 till 16:00, so my “twitter times” corresponded quite nicely with my bus journey, which made the dreary, rainy, coffee-deprived morning so much more enjoyable. I am fairly new to twitter, having started an account purely to be able to participate in a day out that my module (@ICYPN) in year one had organised. I had always understood that it was a sort of micro-blogging, where you could say what was on your mind at that moment and share it with the world. I was also aware of the 140-character limit. What I was not aware was my stubbornness not to use shorthand or abbreviations, which meant that half my time was spent trying to essentially manage a word count. As the week went on, I think I improved at getting straight to the point, and using the various options available on the site (retweeting, quoting, and simple replying to tweets), who knows, this might be a skill that may come in use in documentation in nursing notes, staff don’t have the time to write a paragraph per entry right? During the week, I was also able to have some very interesting conversations with people from around the country, I found out that London PAD documents do not have a section to take into account reasonable adjustments of the students, and that nurses nation-wide were ready to get up in arms to defend their profession when belittled and told they should “stay practical” rather than pursue PhDs. I found it difficult to get students to engage with the account on a regular basis, but I definitely got plenty of input from staff nurses, health care assistants, WeNurses accounts, and PEFs. I think my favourite discussion was during a #NurChat on the student and mentor relationship (took place on 8.11.16). Despite forgetting to include the hashtag in half of my comments during the chat, I was able to gain some great insight on what both students and mentors expect from the relationship – Students want assistance and guidance in both skills and knowledge about the placement, mentors would like the student to have done at least some background reading about their placement rather than showing up completely green. @NurChat has created a timeline of the chat, which I strongly urge you to have a look at as there were some great tips. Finally, I thought that during my time as curator, I would add a small personal touch with #ClosingThoughts, partially to summarise the most important thing I learnt that day either on placement or during my tweeting, and partially to simply “log off”.
And so, my #ClosingThoughts for this experience? 140 characters more than enough to get a message across, you just need to be smart about how you use them.