Why not? If you are reading this and wondering what is Twitter, I would refer you to this video.
If you watched the video, I’m sure you’re thinking, ok, this works for celebrities like Oprah and Ellen. Perhaps it will work for my personal social life. But what can Twitter do for someone like an infusion nurse?
My experience with Twitter started with a personal account solely for the purpose of interacting with a few friends and fulfilling my adoring desire to follow a particular “singer”. Twitter was easy to learn but I have to admit, I had to learn to compose my thoughts in 140 characters. Twitter was quick and my updates got immediate response, I didn’t have to wait for days! When the USAirways flight landed on the Hudson River, I learned about it on Twitter even before CNN broadcasted the news. One evening, I posted to a friend about the pain in my left heel (plantar fasciitis). A few hours later, I got a reply from a footwear company who provided information about managing plantar fasciits and the recommended footwear. There were several other instances where Twitter was helpful to me. This is when I realized the power of twitter in engaging people and the enormous amount of new information you can access instantly.
I continued to explore and decided to create a separate Twitter account, @infusionnurse. I began to think about how Twitter can be used in healthcare, particularly in infusion therapy. That thought has taken me into many different websites and blogs. I discovered new and known colleagues and key opinion leaders in my industry who are on Twitter and began to follow them. A lot of nursing organizations have used Twitter as a means to send their message, disseminate news in real time, and to recruit members they would not reach. It is a simple yet effective networking opportunity. There’s a lot to learn from Twitter, sometimes, it feels overwhelming. When I see updates (twitter posts) that are important to share with others, I RT (re-tweet) and for some tweets, I do a quick scan and move on. I try to post about relevant information related to infusion nursing/therapy/patient education, so others may learn more about my specialty. Twitter has encouraged me to start this blog, since 140 words sometimes isn’t enough. Yes, Twitter can be time consuming, but I have learned just like with work or any other projects, to manage my time on Twitter.
Twitter is extremely popular and many of us in healthcare are intrigued about it. I can use up this space to tell you how great Twitter is, but many have already written about it and can be searched on line. One thing I’ve found a bit disappointing is that not very many nurses are on Twitter. A colleague (@safetynurse) posted a poll in her blog, about “which describes you” in relation to having a Twitter account. I would guess that many of her readers are nurses, and the poll results showed 78% of her readers did not have a Twitter account; only 6% have a Twitter account and find it useful or worth their time; 13% have a Twitter account but need to know more to make it work.
Nurses, what’s holding you back? Why are you not on Twitter? Please share your thoughts (but please don’t tell me Twitter is for young people!!) 🙂