Social Media for Health Professionals

7 Nov

On the last day of the RNAO Best Practice Guidelines Summer Institute this year, I made a public commitment to help nurses and other health professionals learn how to utilize social media. Four months after the Institute, I am pleased to say that I am meeting my commitment by giving presentations and tutorials to various health professional groups and individuals. Here is the webinar presentation I did for RNAO eHealth on Sept. 29th, 2010:

Social Media for Health Professionals

I have also added questions that have been most frequently asked during or after my presentation with some answers, both my personal thoughts and suggested resources (see below). I also welcome readers to add their own thoughts to these questions in the comments section of this particular page (Thanks!). Feel free to post more questions here as well, or to send them to my colleague, Robert Fraser, who is preparing to write a book which will be a beginner’s guide for using social media (targeted for nurses).

Questions and Answers

What’s the difference between a blog and a wiki?

A wiki is a collaborative tool that invites more than one user to build the content, as well as index (tag) content created, in real-time. A blog is an online diary/journal in which one can create and share content (opinions/entries) in chronological order. Both blogs and wikis can be managed by more than one user.

Healthcare examples of Blogs:

Healthcare examples of Wikis:

How much time is this going to take?/ How many hours of your day are you dedicating to use these technologies?

This is a very difficult question to answer because it really depends on WHY you want to use social media in the first place, WHICH technology you choose to use, and lastly, HOW you choose to use it. Again, emphasizing the need to focus on your INTENT rather than on technology first.

As like any other type of Internet activity, all forms of social media can be time-consuming and addictive, so it is important (and obvious) that one must set boundaries regarding time spent on the activity. However, unlike more traditional forms of Internet activity (Web 1.0), some of the advantages of these Web 2.0 technologies is the ability to be highly accessible (either the content or as an individual), collaborative in nature, and accomplish tasks in real-time. Recognizing that these technologies may actually make processes (like creating a research proposal with multiple authors) more efficient and timely (working on a wiki in real-time). It is possible to integrate these technologies into our daily activities, rather than see them as separate activities that require more time in our daily and arguably, busy lives.

On a more personal account, I have experienced and therefore am led to believe that you get back what you put in (and more) by engaging in these technologies.

Check out this article where the author attempts to categorize levels of participation and different types of activities:

Where can I find the collection of research papers related to Social Media and Healthcare?

The shared reference list of social media articles are located here:​research-papers/collecti​ons/4367941/Social-Media​/. Please feel free to join Mendeley (by creating an account), use resources in this list, and also add other articles you may find related to this topic.

What is the impact on our brain?

I was not expecting this question during my presentations as my objectives were primarily focused on the “how to” of social media. Nonetheless, in my search for answers, I came across this comprehensive ABC Big Ideas lecture by Baroness Professor Susan Greenfield titled The Future of the Brain. This presentation is a great overview of the impact of biotechnology, nanotechnology, and the Internet on our brains, forecasting some trends which may in turn shape future generations.

This presentation has left me wondering…Will traditional ways of learning about and within our world be entirely replaced with these new technologies?

3 Responses to “Social Media for Health Professionals”

  1. Rob Fraser February 28, 2011 at 3:14 PM #

    Hi Kama,

    Sorry I missed this webinar. Are you going to put your slides up anywhere?

  2. Mary March 6, 2011 at 5:38 PM #

    Hi Kama you inspired us here in London to move on our little website about gardening. Mostly to learn and see where it takes us Thanks for your inspiration.

  3. Krisalyn April 12, 2011 at 9:59 PM #

    I’m not easily irmpessde. . . but that’s impressing me! 🙂

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