How & why to use social media – Twitter for Nurses

Twitter may be best known as a social network but it is also a great tool for professional development. You might ask, “how can it be useful for nurses?” The answer would be that you can keep up to date with all the latest news in healthcare, network with your peers, find open access articles from nursing journals and find helpful resources for revalidation and CPD. It’s also a lot of fun!

If you haven’t used Twitter before, here is a quick interactive guide to getting started.

twitter-logo

Once you’re set up, the following profiles are a good place to start your Twitter journey:

@Wenurses – The “We” community is a great place to engage with other nurses. They host lots of Tweet chats, which are advertised on their profile (participation it Tweet chats counts towards your CPD!)

@nmcnews – Keep up to date with the latest guidance from The NMC and find all the necessary resources for revalidation.

@theRCN – Keep up to date with nursing news from the RCN.

@midyorkslibrary – The latest healthcare news, resources, guidelines and more from Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust library.

@midyorkshireNHS – the official Twitter profile for Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust

Once you’re on your way with these, you’ll be able to find many other profiles of interest!

Guides for using Twitter

Twitter can seem like a daunting place at first but once you have the basics, you won’t look back. Below are a few links to help you get started. If you need any more help, drop into the Library, where a member of staff can assist with any questions you might have.

http://wecommunities.org/blogs/31 – Guide to Tweet Chats.

https://www.nmc.org.uk/standards/guidance/social-media-guidance – NMC standards for social media.

http://www.nhsemployers.org/search-results?q=social+media&sort  – Social media toolkits, guidance and blog posts about Social Media in healthcare.

Twitter jargon

There is a lot of jargon in Twitter that might make you nervous. There’s nothing to fear though! Here is our quick and easy guide to popular phrases used in the Twittersphere:

Twitter handle – the name of the profile (e.g. @midyorkslibrary, @Wenurses etc)

Hashtag (#) – a hashtag (#) is added to the beginning of a phrase (e.g. #NHS, #nursing, #cardiology etc) to gather all Tweets on the same subject in one place. You can also search for hashtags in the search box to find other Tweets on that subject or click on a hashtag you see on someone’s Tweet to see more.

@ (“at”) – used at the beginning of a Twitter handle to identify it as a profile. If you want that profile to see your Tweet, you should always have an @ (“at” them in it).

Retweet – Like a tweet enough to share it with your followers? Hit the retweet button.

Follow – Follow a profile to see all of their tweets in your timeline.

Timeline – A real time collection of Tweets from the profiles you follow.

Direct message (DM) – You can message a profile directly, without it being shared publicly by DM’ing them.

Tweet chat – a place on Twitter to discuss a subject. Identified by a hashtag created specifically for that Tweet chat.

Live Tweet – Events may have participants Live Tweeting. A hashtag will be created to gather all the tweets in one place (#MYITExpo)

So, what are you waiting for? Join us on Twitter today!

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