As I prepare for a talk at the Canadian Association of Neonatal Nurses conference in Calgary tomorrow I am finding my excitement growing. The theme of the conference this year is “Neonatal Care: It Takes a Village” and I am lucky enough to be speaking twice to this audience. The first talk is all about the utilization of social media to help create this village and the second about a journey our centre took as we made some changes to our management of hypoglycemia.
With respect to the first talk, I am becoming increasingly convinced that the role of social media in medicine is to help create awareness. There are so many publications that come out every week, month and year. The numbers are in the hundreds of thousands if not millions with so many journals both legitimate and predatory, publishing at this time. If you aren’t sure what predatory journals are you can read about them here.
The reality is that there is so much to digest out there and as the saying goes, not enough time! That’s where social media comes in. Being in a leadership role has its challenges. No matter how strongly you believe in something, if you don’t have the support of nursing (yes I know this may sound like pandering but it’s true) it is not going to fly in the hospital. Traditional methods for introducing change have been to review an article (typically doctors) and discuss the worthiness of the analysis at a teaching rounds. While nursing is often invited to such rounds, attendance is tough to get to any great deal. The docs though may think its a great idea and then the “memo” comes out. There are many who will follow what the directive says but how much do they truly understand of the change and as a result is their heart really in it?
A New Way To Spread The Word
Let’s face it, we are on our phones a lot! It’s really how we digest so much of the news out there these days. Who has the time to read a newspaper when the first paragraph of an article on our phone tells us 90% of what we really need to know? When nurses take their break in the lounge is that the latest New England Journal of Medicine article on their phone that they are reading? Maybe some but many (and I include docs, dieticians, respiratory therapists and others) are checking social media sites whether they be twitter, Facebook or even this blog. Want to get a message out? Put it into a digestible form where the analysis has been done and the arguments for change presented in a 500 – 1000 word form. This isn’t to say that the original articles in their entirety aren’t worth reading but if you want to disseminate the rationale for a change their is power in this medium to get the word out. Want a change to succeed, then first help people to understand the reason behind it and the transformation of practice will follow.
As I have said in several talks on the use of social media, if you present in a classroom you may educate 20 people, grand rounds 150 but in the world of social media its in the 1000s! Posting on Social Media gets the word out and far!
April 11th I re-released Automatic adjustments of FiO2. Ready for prime time? after seeing the technology that formed the basis of this post demonstrated for me firsthand. The map below demonstrates what I am speaking about when I say going global! This post was read on every continent with the exception of Antarctica for a total of 1882 times that day! Whether it is a good strategy for all places or not is not the point. The point is that people are reading and talking about things that they may not have heard or thought of before. My goal in all of this is education and generating discussions. We need to learn and learning should be done together. Whether it is through comments on Facebook or directly on the Blog, we all benefit when we read, talk, debate and find a common ground with the most important patient and family being in the centre of it all.
As I prepare to present these concepts tomorrow I sincerely hope that we continue to see discussion coming from these posts and provide forums for our medical teams across the country to think about topics they might not have covered yet. Thank you to all who have read or will start reading these posts as I have as much to learn from you as you from me. Glad to be a part of such a wonderful conference and look forward to meeting som many of you tomorrow!