By way of introducing myself and meta4RN.com I will now pretend to be somebody else and ask myself twenty questions, then answer them.
1. Who are you?
Paul McNamara. I’m a Registered Nurse who has an interesting and varied career, details of which are on LinkedIn
2. Yeah, but what about your personal life?
Part of my job is to have a pretty clear sense of professional-personal boundaries. This blog is related to my profession, so I’m not going into much detail about my personal life here. I’m happy to let you know that I’m one of those lucky people with a cohesive, warm family and some really good friends. I’m also lucky to have a lovely, funny, and incredibly patient partner. I barrack for Adelaide in the AFL. I have become a bit of an Apple fanboy over the last few years, and am a bit of a geek-wannabe. That’s enough about me, I reckon… other than to let you know that I really hate cotton wool.
3. Why a blog?
Recently in Australia there has been a lot of chatter about health professionals using the internet, especially what we do with social media. It has been an interesting discussion to be a part of via Twitter, and has prompted me to look into what’s out there with more enthusiasm than I would have otherwise. As part of that process I revisited entertaining and thought-provoking blogs I had stumbled into previously (eg: impactednurse and 20 Commandments for Mental Health Workers). I was a little surprised and disappointed that a couple of other health professional blogs that I had visited and recommended in the past had shut down or made themselves private/inaccessible. It bothers me that the people who “go behind the curtain” (literally and metaphorically) with patients feel unable to share and discuss their learnings and reflections online. We do so in other forums: in tearooms, at Nurses stations, at conferences, via email networks, over the phone… so why not online?
Obviously, showing respect for your patients, your profession, your colleagues and your workplace needs to come into it. As with question 2, we need to have a pretty clear sense of professional boundaries, but let’s not be afraid to talk about our jobs in a public place.
4. What makes you think you’re blogworthy?
I’m struggling with that a bit; I’m pretty well educated and have a fair bit of experience, but I’m not painting myself as being a guru or anything. In fact, right now I’m feeling really self-conscious and more than a bit wanky.
I’ll leave to others to decide whether the blog has merit. Suggestions, comments and other feedback are welcomed, abuse and trolling are not.
5. Why “meta4RN“?
So glad you asked, it’s probably the most amazingly clever thing you’ll see today [joking]:
- RN = Registered Nurse; that’s my profession.
- “meta” as in a concept that adds to the understanding of other concepts.
- “meta4″ is being used as a homophone (or is that a heterograph?) of “metaphor”. The rationale being that a lot of learning, communicating, understanding relies on the use of metaphor.
- “meta” can also mean self-referential, so “meta4RN” could be read as self-referential for Registered Nurse(s).
- By making the 4 red and bold it looks a little like a familiar sign related to healthcare, but not so close that Red Cross will try to shut me down (hopefully).
- I wear glasses, so (if we want to be really silly about it) we could read “meta4RN” as “met a 4-eyed RN”.
- Finally, most sensibly, “meta4RN” is a short tag that was available on the Big Three of social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube). That’s what really tipped it for me.
6. Why does it matter that your blog is inked to other arms of social media?
I’m trying to give my professional online presence a singular, coherent “brand”, that’s distinctly different than my personal use of social media. It’s that professional boundaries thing again.
7. Huh? Is this “brand” going to make money or something?
I’m not expecting to attract a heap of advertising or anything like that. However, sometime in the future it might help me explain/demonstrate appropriate use of the internet and social media to other health professionals. If that happened to include somebody who wanted to offer me a job I could profit from it. It’s possible, I guess, but certainly not on the radar at present.
Actually, as an afterthought, let’s not call it a social media “brand” anymore, let’s call it a “professional social media portfolio” – it’s a more accurate descriptor of intent/use, I think. [this sentence added 31/10/12]
8. What is this blog going to be about?
Stuff related to my work/profession. We’ll all have to wait and see about the details, but I’m expecting that these subjects will be covered over time:
- mental health care in the general health setting
- consultation liaison nursing
- perinatal mental health
- social media
- adult education, especially (but not exclusively) as it is done by nurses and/or for nurses
- clinical supervision and reflective practice
- work-related use of gadgets and geeky stuff
- how watching Adelaide play in the AFL can inform clinical practice (stay tuned – it might turn out to be true)
- there will not be much information about cotton wool on this blog
All of this will be from the perspective of a nurse discussing nursing with nurses.
9. But I’m not a nurse, do you want me to leave?
Nope. Not at all. You’re very welcome to stay and look around; you mind find it a bit boring at times though. Sorry about that.
10. Nurses help fix things up, can you help with my specific issue, disease, or illness?
Nope. I wont even attempt to do so via this blog or any of its related social media portals.
There’s that professional boundaries thing again.
11. What’s with the casual use of language?
I’m trying to write using the same sort of language I would use if I was using voice with colleagues. I hope that the tone of this blog will be perceived as friendly, accessible and authentic. I’ll reserve the right to make edits for when I make typos or get the tone/spelling/information wrong (all of which will inevitably happen).
12. Any acknowledgements?
Yes – one for a group and one for an individual.
When using the @PiMHnurse Twitter handle I came across many other people on Twitter who opened my eyes to the use and potential of social media. Many of those people can be found via this Twitter hashtag: #HCSMANZ (Healthcare & Social Media in Australia & New Zealand).
I have been inspired by, taken confidence from, and borrowed ideas from the blog of another Australian Registered Nurse. I hope, in time, to have a nursing blog to rival the one that Ian Miller has developed; it’s definitely worth visiting impactednurse.
13. Do the views and opinions you express here or on related social media portals represent the views of your employer?
No. Of course not. It’s a ridiculous question to ask. It’s like asking whether I represent the views of the Pope and the Catholic church just because I used to be an altar boy.
14. Should I ask any other questions?
Nope. Not for now.
15. What’s the point of starting the introduction saying there will be twenty questions, but only asking thirteen?
I don’t know what I’m doing yet. I might have omitted something important. If a question gets asked in the comments section that belongs up here I’ll move it up.
17. So, are you just making this up as you go along?
19. Do you think that’s funny?
Not hilariously funny, but kind of amusing.
20. When will you start writing actual content on this blog?
Paul, 24 September 2012