Tag Archives: geeky stuff

The Art of Mental Health

art

Sigmund Freud is purported to have said, “Everywhere I go I find that a poet has been there before me.” Not every nursing speciality has this advantage of being informed and sustained by artists. Can those of us interested in supporting mental health consumers and carers look to art to improve our understanding and empathy of the experiences of others? 

I have created a Prezi as a seed for others to use art as an adjunct to our other sources of learning (courses, colleagues, peer-reviewed journals, text books etc). Please see the Prezi by following the link here.

The examples I have collated in the Prezi are listed below, and credit is given to the sources that were used in the Prezi.

Veronica by Elvis Costello is a beautiful song and film clip, that improves our understanding and empathy of nursing the person with dementia. The YouTube video is here: youtu.be/zifeVbK8b-g The lyrics were sourced from this website: www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/elviscostello/veronica.html I’ve written about this previously: meta4RN.com/dementia and have self-plagarised. Again. 

Dog by Andy Bull (with vocal support from Lisa Mitchell) is a fantastic song that captures some of the difficulties of the experience of depression. In the Prezi I used this YouTube link youtu.be/bBOe660BYjI and the lyrics were sourced via www.songlyrics.com/andy-bull/dog-lyrics

Dog is a poignant, wonderful song. Listen to it here:

I had a black dog, his name was depression is written, illustrated and narrated by Matthew Johnstone. It is a very accessible way think about depression and would resonate with a broad age group, I think. Here is the YouTube video used in the Prezi:

To improve understanding and empathy for the family/carers of those who experience schizophrenia I use a song called Neighbourhoods #2 (Laika). This takes a bit of explanation. First though, lets get the credits out of the way. The lyrics were sourced here: www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/arcadefire/neighborhood2laika.html The YouTube video linked in the Prezi is from here: youtu.be/8Wq917ucGaE

Laika - First dog in Space by Belgian artist Paul Gosselin. Source: http://cultured.com/image/4063/Laika_First_dog_in_Space/#fav

“Laika – First Dog in Space” by Belgian artist Paul Gosselin. Source: http://cultured.com/image/4063/Laika_First_dog_in_Space/#fav

Laika by Arcade Fire may not have been written about mental illness at all. However, as with all art, interpretation is an individual experience. I have had a few years experience as a community mental health nurse. In that role I provided direct care and support to the person experiencing mental health problems (nearly all of my clients at the time had schizophrenia) and, when family were still around, support for them too.

Much of the word imagery of Laika fits with that experience. Carers often described their frustration at the lack of insight and empathy that their family member seemed to have. Carers would oscillate between deep concern and desperate frustration about their family member. More than a few times carers expressed a nihilistic outlook – an almost complete lack of hope. The line “Our mother should’ve just named you Laika” expresses that poignantly: Laika was the name of a stray dog in Moscow who became the first living creature to orbit earth. She was never expected to return to earth safely, and died a few hours after launch. Families I have worked with have, at times, expressed that level of despair about their family member.

I also like how Laika’s story has been taken-up by the art community. I love the Arcade Fire song, and my favourite visual representation of Laika – First Dog in Space is the painting above by Belgian artist Paul Gosselin.

The last piece of art I used in the Prezi was The Scream by Edvard Munch. The source of the picture is here: www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/munch/munch.scream.jpg I’ve read that this picture has been associated with other health problems including  trigeminal neuralgia, psychosis and depersonalisation. To my eye, The Scream looks like acute anxiety and/or a panic attack. It serves as a graphic visual reminder that the first step is to assist the person to contain their distress, to be and feel safe. It shows distress that must feel overwhelming and rallies us to help: let’s think “safety first” kids.

So, that’s it for this little weekend project: if you haven’t visited the Prezi yet please do so now: The Art of Mental Health

What songs, poems, books, music and visual art will inform and sustain your clinical practice?

Paul McNamara, 7th December 2014

art

Professional use of Twitter (my #ACMHN2013 conference poster)

At the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses 39th International Mental Health Nursing Conference (Perth, 22nd-24th October 2013) there are three poster presentations (no oral presentations) regarding social media:

  1. Utilising social media collaboratively to strengthen interdisciplinary understanding and networking (Zara Mills)
  2. Twitter: a contemporary nursing conversation tool (Rhonda Wilson)
  3. Turbocharging mental health nursing collaboration and partnerships: professional use of Twitter (me)

Social media is a good fit for the conference theme “Collaboration and Partnerships in Mental Health Nursing” (hence the full name of my presentation). There are many examples of nurses acting as “digital citizens“, reflecting the ever-changing practice domains and the importance of partnerships to the nursing professions. My poster presentation cites four examples of nurses embracing social media, adapting content that I have accrued on my blog and presented as the closing plenary session at the ACMHN Consultation Liaison / Perinatal Infant Mental Health Nurses Conference in June 2013.

Anyway, with no further ado, here’s a breakdown of my poster presentation for the conference with the #ACMHN2013 Twitter hashtag:

Abstract 

Working in partnership with consumers, carers and colleagues is part of mental health nursing’s heritage. Over time we have adapted this collaborative approach to the technologies available to us. For example, telephones and videoconferencing are commonly used to establish and maintain therapeutic and professional relationships by mental health nurses. Yet, for some of us, there seems to be hesitation to use one of the technologies of our time – social media – in a similarly confident manner.

This presentation will make a clear distinction between official, personal and professional use of social media. Using case studies, four specific examples of professional use of Twitter will be presented, covering these aspects of mental health nursing:

  • mental health promotion
  • sharing mental health nursing conference information and innovations
  • collaborative multi-national discussions re contemporary issues
  • enhancing education

Referring to these examples, the argument will be made that professional social media participation builds collegial relationships and enhances the profile of mental health nursing.

Those baffled or intimidated by social media are strongly encouraged to attend, as are those interested in exploring ways mental health nurses can use social media to turbocharge our collaboration and partnerships.

The abstract was submitted as an oral presentation, but accepted as a poster presentation. I used many (not all) of the ideas found in Colin Purrington’s enlightening and entertaining blog post “Designing conference posters“. The post was divided into into four parts, each part giving different examples of nurses embracing social media. Those four parts are presented separately below:

1. Health Promotion

1

#bePNDaware and Postnatal Depression Awareness Week 2012

Hashtags mark keywords or topics. This facilitates information sharing: clicking on a hashtag will lead you to other tweets with that same hashtag.

As a health promotion strategy, #bePNDaware was the designated Twitter hashtag for Postnatal Depression Awareness Week 2012. This facilitated the sharing of resources, information and support across a variety of agencies and individuals.

Data

From midnight beginning Thursday 8th November 2012 to midnight ending Sunday 25th November 2012 (Cairns time) using the #bePNDaware hashtag there were:

  • 250 Twitter participants
  • 928 tweets
  • 3 of the most prolific Twitter accounts represented mental health nursing
  • the “impressions” (potential number of views) was over 1,500,000

So what?

Australia’s National Perinatal Depression Initiative (NPDI) cites improved community awareness as one of the key performance indicators for the success of the NPDI.

As the data demonstrates, Twitter provides a vehicle for active participation in health promotion activities with a very large reach.

Social media health promotion is an example of effectively using the internet. Some nurses are “digital citizens” who use the internet to curate and share health-related information.

For further data analysis and information about this example, please visit meta4RN.com/bePNDaware

2. Sharing Conference Information

2

Case Study: The Reach of One Tweet

A key purpose of health care conferences is to share information and professional values. Can social media play a role in this?

Below is a tweet of a statement made during a presentation at a small Consultation Liaison and Perinatal Infant Mental Health Nurse conference held in June 2013. The presenter’s message went beyond the 70 people attending the conference in a small Queensland regional city, and reached many thousands of people elsewhere in Australia and internationally.

Data

579 = the number of people following the @meta4RN Twitter account in June 2013. So, that one tweet could have been seen by up to 579 people/organisations.

That single tweet was retweeted (ie: shared/passed-on) by five other Twitter accounts, each with their own group of followers, thus:

  • 9712 following @nurse_w_glasses
  • 8433 following @yayayarndiva
  • 1969 following @ClaudiaNichols
  • 1403 following @HR1529
  • 178 following @SameiHuda
  • + 579 following @meta4RN
  • = 22, 274 impressions (potential views).

This conference tweet had an audience over 300 times larger than the conference audience.

Data: Three Nurse Conferences on Twitter

  • Consultation Liaison & Perinatal Infant ACMHN Conference
    • Noosa
    • June 2013
    • Approx 70 delegates
    • Conference Hashtag = #ACMHN
    • 125,794 Twitter Impressions
    • 141 Tweets
    • 26 Twitter Participants
  • Australian College of Mental Health Nurses 38th International Mental Health Nursing Conference
    • Darwin
    • October 2012
    • Approx 700 Delegates
    • Conference Hashtag = #ACMHN2012
    • 395,557 Twitter Impressions
    • 586 Tweets
    • 38 Twitter Participants
  • International Council of Nurses (ICN) 25th Quadrennial Congress
    • Melbourne
    • May 2013
    • Approx 4000 delegates
    • Conference Hashtag = #ICNAust2013
    • 2,201,098 Twitter Impressions
    • 3,764 Tweets
    • 288 Twitter Participants

For more information about these examples, please visit

3. Discuss Important Issues

3

Case Study: #WeNurses Twitter Chat

Planned Twitter discussions (those with a designated time and topic) are known as “chats”.

On 21st December 2012 (Cairns time) nurses from the United Kingdom and Australia came together on Twitter to discuss issues raised by the highly publicised suicide of a colleague. During this chat 33 participants used the #WeNurses hashtag. There were 360 tweets, and the impressions (aka “TweetReach”) of the chat was well in excess of one million views.

The structure of the discussion and the issues that emerged are as below:

  • Preliminary Information
    • Introductions
    • Setting the Tone
  • Theme: Communication & Confidentiality
    • Patients and Mobile Phones.
    • Social Media
    • Individualising Communication & Confidentiality
    • WiFi for Hospital Patients
  • Theme: Compassion
    • Prank Call
    • Targeted Crisis Support
    • Clinical Supervision
    • Supportive Workplaces
    • Preventative/Early-Intervention Resources
    • “The 6Cs” (Care, Compassion, Competence, Communication, Courage & Commitment)
    • Integrating Defusing Emotions into Clinical Practice
  • Finishing-Up
    • Key Learnings
    • Closing Remarks
    • Farewells

Outcome

Nurses from opposite sides of the world utilised a high-profile social media platform to engage in a conversation about the high-media-profile suicide of a nurse. Unlike much of the commentary on both social media and mainstream media, the #WeNurses discussion was conducted professionally, calmly, and with thoughtfulness and grace.

For a curated transcript of the discussion and more information about this example, please visit meta4RN.com/WeNurses

4. Enhance and Amplify Education Sessions

4

The Experiment

A perinatal mental health workshop on 8th February 2013 also served as an experiment in using Twitter to bookmark and share resources. Using HootSuite 19 scheduled tweets with the #bePNDaware hashtag were sent from the @meta4RN Twitter account before or during the workshop. Additionally, one tweet was sent during a break and one after the workshop had finished (ie: 21 tweets in total). The scheduling of tweets allowed the facilitator to be fully present during the workshop, while simultaneously making links to the resources/topics discussed in the workshop readily available to workshop participants and a broader audience.

Data

9 Twitter accounts other than @meta4RN retweeted 6 of the original tweets; one tweet re Clinical Practice Guidelines was retweeted 3 times. Between 7:00am and 7:00pm on 8th February 2013 (Cairns time) there were 30 workshop-related tweets which, through the amplifying effects of social media, had 17,784 impressions.

Outcome

The links shared on Twitter had a theoretical/potential reach of 17,784 people. This is in stark contrast to the number of participants who attended the perinatal mental health workshop face-to-face that day: 4 people.

For references, more information and a short video about this example, please visit meta4RN.com/workshop

Four Versions of the Poster

1. Portable Document Format (PDF) pdficon

meta4rn.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/twitterposter.pdf

2. Picture (JPG)

3. Prezi (online presentation) prezi.com/user/meta4RN

4. YouTube (animated online presentation) youtube.com/meta4RN

The YouTube version was made in four steps

  1. Visual content assembled and arranged using Prezi
  2. The track “Sevastopol” generously provided royalty-free by mobygratis
  3. Vision and sound captured and melded using Screenflow
  4. Completed video uploaded to YouTube

Citations (this section added on 9th November 2013)

Sometimes it is useful to be able to cite references that carry more prestige than this blog page (short IRL = meta4RN.com/poster), well have I got a deal for you! Because the poster was presented at the ACMHN conference it was accepted into the book of abstracts published by the IJMHN, this allows you to cite this content thus:

McNamara, P. (2013) Turbocharging mental health nursing collaboration and partnerships: Professional use of twitter (poster, Australian College of Mental Health Nursing 39th International Mental Health Nursing Conference – Collaboration and Partnership in Mental Health Nursing). International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, volume 22, Issue Supplement S1,  page 22.  doi: 10.1111/inm.12047 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/inm.2013.22.issue-s1/issuetoc

Also, snippets of this content made there way into a paper recently accepted into another nursing journal. If you can get access to the full content via your employer/university (otherwise there’s a paywall) you will find info that reflects some of this blog post. The paper is currently in press, so the citation will change from this in coming weeks/months:

Wilson, R., Ranse, J., Cashin, A. & McNamara, P. (2013) Nurses and Twitter: The good, the bad, and the reluctant. Collegian (Royal College of Nursing, Australia), 4 November 2013 (DOI: 10.1016/j.colegn.2013.09.003) http://www.collegianjournal.com/article/S1322-7696(13)00090-5/abstract

End

That’s it. Thanks for dropping by. As always, you’re welcome to leave comments/feedback below.

Paul McNamara, 1st October 2013

Hits and Misses: The First Twelve Months of meta4RN

Today I will blog about my blog. I feel quite uncomfortable about it, and am very afraid that I will completely disappear up my own bum.

On 24th September 2012 meta4RN.com was launched with two posts. One said “Hello World!“, the other post “About” set the agenda and explained the rationale for the blog. Now, exactly 12 months later, let’s see what’s happened.

hits

Hits

country1Serendipitously, the 11,000th hit on meta4RN.com happened on the day of its first birthday. Actually, it wasn’t coincidence at all – it was more the desperate attention-seeking of somebody sad enough to write a blog about his blog. I could see that the milestone was getting close and started promoting pimping various pages of meta4RN.com on Twitter from about 5:00am.

Early-waking insomnia has me conveniently awake in prime-time evening social media time for Europeans. Many of the social media connections I have made are in the UK – one of them, Anne Cooper also starting blogging in 2012. Although Annie started blogging just a couple of months before me, she taught me a valuable lesson on Twitter: Pimp Your Blog! (see Tip 7 here: anniecoops.com). Annie acknowledges Wendy Lee (aka @TheRealBaglady)  as the source for this idea. I think we should also give credit to those who wrote the bible and the people who translated it into English… the biblical proverb, “don’t hide your light under a bushel” is very similar in meaning to the proverb, “pimp your blog!”

country2Twitter accounts for nearly a quarter of all hits on meta4RN.com. To the best of my ability I’ve tried to mimic the Twitter style of @mamamia – they take the “pimp your blog” idea to the next level with around-the-clock, mostly-not-repetitive, nearly-always-poignant-funny-and/or-interesting Tweets promoting mamamia.com.au content. When I’m pimping my blog I use scheduled tweets and a bit of imagination to try to channel the mamamia style of Twitter wit and wisdom.

With Twitter well in the lead, here is the Top 10 of referral sources to meta4RN.com:

  1. Twitter
  2. Search Engines
  3. Facebook
  4. Nurse Uncut
  5. Google+
  6. Philip Darbyshire
  7. PANDA (Post and Antenatal Depression Awareness Association)
  8. impactednurse (by the inspiring Ian Miller)
  9. Outlook.com
  10. Croakey (the Crikey health blog, by the very supportive Melissa Sweet)

The blog has attracted over 100 comments, and I am very grateful for the support of all those who have referred/linked to the meta4RN site. Overall there are about 90 websites and oodles of Digital Citizens that have directed traffic in this direction – my sincere thanks to you all.

There have been meta4RN.com views from 85 countries, however many of these countries have visited less than a handful of times.

Searching for Meaning

WordPress (the platform used for meta4RN.com) gives access to some of the search engine data. Predictably, Google was the search engine used for 95% of the  queries that found meta4RN.com pages. The most common search terms related to the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) – scanning through the very long list of search terms that led people to meta4RN.com it looks like nearly a third of all searchers wanted info about the EPDS. This is reflected in the stats for pages with the most hits too: setting aside the “generic” Home, Archive and About pages, the Top 10 of page views goes like this:

  1. Using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (November 2012)
  2. Emotional Aftershocks (August 2013, re hospital violence)
  3. #ICNAust2013: Looking Back at a Nursing Conference through a Social Media Lens (May 2013)
  4. Perinatal Jargon Busting (April 2013 – interestingly, this had the most hits in a day – 22/07/13, the day Prince George was born – when this quote from the post was shared on social media: “Babies are born. Women give birth. Pizzas are delivered.”)
  5. Nurturing the Nurturers (January 2013)
  6. Social Media for Nurses: my ten step, slightly-ranty, version (january 2013)
  7. #acmhn2012: Looking Back at a Mental Health Nursing Conference through a Social Media Lens (October 2012)
  8. Precovery: a proactive version of recovery (March 2013 – subsequently this post was adapted for publication as per this citation: McNamara, Paul and McCauley, Kay. (2013).‘Precovery’: A proactive version of recovery in perinatal mental health. Australian Nursing Journal: , Vol. 21, No. 1, Jul 2013: 38.)
  9. Follow Friday and other Twitterisms (July 2013)
  10. #bePNDaware: Looking Back at Postnatal Depression Awareness Week through a Social Media Lens (November 2013)

Misses

In this section, let’s have a look at things that have not gone so well.

Quantity: The original idea was for a post a week – that has not been achieved. There have been 33 posts in the first 12 months (this one will be the 34th). I’m planning to change the original goal to at least two posts per month – that’s more realistic for me: somebody with a fulltime job, a social life, and a bad habit of being verbose and over-inclusive when writing blog posts. Like now, for instance.

Quality: I can’t believe how awful I am at proof-reading my own work. Every time I publish a post I have to go back and edit out the typos and nonsensical sentences that are included. Weirdly, I seem to be much better at noticing the mistakes after they’ve been out out in the public domain… it’s as if I’m an Apple iO7 designer or something. [look Mum – contemporary humour!]

countrymapReach: as per the map above, meta4RN.com has totally failed to capture the all-important Chinese market. 我要加倍努力接触到中国的护士。Not doing at all well in cracking Greenland either. Damn.

Dud Posts: Less than 50 visits have been made to these three posts – a poor reward for effort, but also an indication that sometimes I waffle-on about stuff that not many people care about.

  1. What has social media been saying about clinical supervision this week? (January 2013)
  2. Should May 15th be International Mental Health Nurse Day? (May 2013)
  3. Hello World! (September 2012)

Appearance: I really dislike the random hyphenation of this blog. It is truly awful and ugly sometimes. Also, the overall look if meta4RN.com is a bit daggy. I might give it a bit of a refresh in coming weeks/months – stay tuned.

So What?

This is a meta post – like a conversation about conversations (see number 5 here: meta4rn.com/about). The purpose of this post is not to show the answers, but to show my working-out… you know, just like my Year 5 maths teacher always said, “Getting the right answer can be dumb luck – I want to see how you arrived at the answer! Show how you worked it out!” Hopefully somebody can pick-up some ideas from seeing the working-out of a nurse who blogs.

I didn’t know what “blog” meant until about 12 months ago (slow, i know). It is word play from the original “Web Log”, which was contracted to “WebLog”, which was playfully converted to “We Blog”, which then left the thing that “we” do as a “blog”. Cute.

I am pleased to have an avenue of conversation about professional matters that is not constrained by the traditions and discipline of academic journals. I think the language we can use on blogs is much more accessible, and the freedom of sharing ideas for consideration is liberating. Practice-based-evidence instead of evidence-based-practice. It’s still peer reviewed, but is not hidden behind a paywall. Professional blogs are not in competition with journals, and will never attain their level of academic credibility. However, hopefully these sort of blogs can go some way towards bridging that long-lamented theory-practice gap. I hope so.

Hat Tips

When introducing meta4RN.com this time last year, I acknowledged Ian Miller of impactednurse.com and all those who participate in Health Care and Social Media in Australia and New Zealand (#hcsmanz on Twitter). I want to reinforce my thanks for their support and inspiration now. Ian is especially impressive in leading the way for digital citizen health professionals.

There have been dozens of other who have been very supportive of meta4RN.com over the last twelve months. I will not attempt to list them all, but will just single-out two:

Melissa Sweet of @croakeyblog on Twitter and croakey online plays a significant role in sharing health-related information in the social media environment. I have been especially grateful for Melissa’s feedback and support for some of the meta4RN.com blog posts. Very rewarding and gratefully received.

My partner Stella is incredibly tolerant of the time I have spent on something that does nothing to pay our mortgage or enhance our social life together. I am especially grateful to Stella for affording me the luxury of experimenting in this space: thank you darling.

End

Thanks very much for reading meta4RN.com – as always, your comments are welcome.

Paul McNamara, 24th September 2013

Follow Friday and other Twitterisms

indoctrinateI’ve made no secret of my bold plan to try to indoctrinate enthuse nurses and midwives re professional use of social media, especially Twitter. This blog post is primarily for the benefit of Twitter newbies, especially health professionals dipping their toes into professional use of social media.

I’ll post a link to this page most Fridays too as an explanatory note about my OTT #FF use.

Experienced Twitter campaigners probably won’t be at all interested in this blog post (quick! jump away now! watch this funky short video instead!), but those unaccustomed to Twitterisms may find it helpful to have info and context readily available in the same stream where the #FF hashtag is being used.

What is #FF?

CroakeyJackson#FF = #FollowFriday = Follow Friday (did you think it was something rude? shame on you and your dirty mind!).

Use the #FF hashtag to recommend a Twitter account/person to others. Why bother? It’s a good way to show appreciation, to build the connectivity of your networks, and it’s part of the “Share. Enjoy. Be generous.” Twitter ethic I’ve mentioned previously.

I like to individualise my #FF recommendations by Tweeting one at a time with a brief introduction, which I often lift/adapt straight from the bio. This way my #FF recommendations will look something like this:

#FF @reeannekeena – community mental health nurse and cricket tragic living in far north queensland #FNQ

To my way of thinking, mass #FF tweets are much less compelling as a recommendation. The mass #FF tweets look something like this:

#FF @reeannekeena @impactednurse @CEOKimRyan @ACMHN @HPitt3 @karenyatesjcu @croakeyblog @AngieGittusRN @MerynFry

Does #FF work to promote more followers? As far as I can tell, only modestly. I'm pretty sure Harry only gained two new followers when I recommended him with a #FF. That's better than nothing, but the ROI is limited.

Does #FF work to promote more followers? As far as I can tell, only modestly. I’m pretty sure Harry only gained two new followers when I recommended him with a #FF. That’s better than nothing, but the ROI is limited.

All the links above are live – you could do worse than follow these people on Twitter, but I don’t know that many people will be inspired to just go ahead and do so because of a list of names. I reckon one Tweet per #FF with a brief introduction is much better.

However, does #FF actually work to promote more followers? As far as I can tell, only modestly. I’m pretty sure Harry Pitt (see screenshot) only gained two new followers when I recommended him with a #FF. That’s better than nothing, but it’s worthwhile being realistic, and knowing that the impact of the #FF hashtag is limited.

What is OTT?

OTT = Over The Top = my use of #FF.

On reflection, I think I’ve been OTT with the #FF thing. On Twitter, as in real life, too much chatter just becomes white noise: it gets heard, but doesn’t really get listened to. So, with the goal of not diluting the potential potency of recommendations, I will keep my use of #FF down to about half-a-dozen times per Friday from now on.

Less [Twitter stream clutter] is [probably] more [effective].

With all those #FF tweets, do you ever work on Fridays?

Yep: most Fridays I am at work, so resort to using scheduled Tweets to trickle-out my #FF recommendations throughout the day. My rationale is threefold:

  1. A tweet every hour or two is less intrusive and irritating than a rush of five tweets in five minutes.
  2. Twitter has connected me with other health professionals in every Australian state/territory, and in a heap of other countries all around the world. That means lots of different timezones. By spreading out the #FF tweets there is a better chance of broad introductions rather than narrow, place-specific recommendations.
  3. I’m experimenting with social media, Twitter especially, to test its usefulness for healthcare communication. Part of the experiment is to build the profile of the meta4RN portfolio. For this I’m treating meta4RN a bit like a brand; #FF not only recommends others, but also keeps the meta4RN portfolio visible. At time of writing (July 2013), I’m planning to make #FF a meta4RN staple activity to promote and link healthcare professionals on Twitter.

HootSuiteScheduling tweets is pretty easy using tools such as HootSuite and TweetDeck. The only real risk with scheduling tweets is when a major event happens, say a terrorist attack or natural disaster. Under those circumstances Twitter erupts with activity specific to that event, and scheduled tweets can seem incongruent/out-of-touch or, in a worse-case scenario, insensitive and stupid. I’ll try to keep an eye out for this but fully expect it to happen from time-to-time; hopefully because #FF tweets are pretty benign it won’t be too much of a problem*.

What is RT?

RT = ReTweet = a way to share information that somebody else has already shared. If you’re familiar with Facebook, a RT is like hitting a “Like” button on steroids. Most retweets are not preceded by RT now, because the Twitter “retweet” button has done away with ye olde RT. It still pops-up though, especially if people want to add a comment.

PANDAMTWhat is MT?

MT = ModifiedTweet = a way to share information that somebody else has already shared, but edit or tweak the message a little. By making it MT rather than RT, you’re making it clear that it’s not a direct quote of the original.

See the screenshots of my MT of @PANDA_NATIONAL for an example.

What is HT?

HTHT = Hat-Tip or Heard-Through = a way to acknowledge the source of your info without necessarily quoting them.

What about other abbreviations like LMAO, ROI, TYVM, PMSL?

LMGTFY

What is LMGTFY?

The easiest way for me to explain is to ask you to click here: LMGTFY

What is the #hashtag thing about?

This explanation is a cut and paste straight from Twitter support:

  • hashtagPeople use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search.
  • Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets marked with that keyword.
  • Hashtags can occur anywhere in the Tweet – at the beginning, middle, or end.
  • Hashtagged words that become very popular are often Trending Topics.
  • If you Tweet with a hashtag on a public account, anyone who does a search for that hashtag may find your Tweet
  • Don’t #spam #with #hashtags. Don’t over-tag a single Tweet. (Best practices recommend using no more than 2 hashtags per Tweet.)
  • Use hashtags only on Tweets relevant to the topic.

For Twitter newbies, don’t get too freaked by the hashtag thing. You can ignore hashtags and still enjoy Twitter. However, when you find your feet you’ll find them very useful – I’ve previously written about hashtags being used for health conferences, health promotion and education. There are plenty of other hashtag applications too.

eggWhat else?

Don’t be a silent egg. That is, add a profile pic, a bit of a bio and introduce yourself to Twitter. Getting started on Twitter is usually a slow learning curve anyway, but not sharing anything at all will make it excruciatingly dull.

That’s probably all you need to get started, other than a warning about Twitter spam. You have probably developed a good radar for email spam by now, but Twitter spam seems to be especially good at preying on the insecurities of Twitter newbies. So, if you get a message that looks a bit like this:

@meta4RN This person is saying horrible things about you dodgylink.com/8g6lyn

or

@meta4RN Have you seen this photo of you? LOL. dodgylink.com/8g6lyn

just delete/report the message.

Whatever you do, don’t click the links! There is a good chance your account will then start sending out spam if you do. That’s a really irritating way to learn about Twitter spam; prevention is best, but there is support available if you do stumble into a spam-pit: support.twitter.com

End

That’ll do for now.

If required, there’s a bit more info that may be useful for healthcare professionals new to Twitter via my previous blog post Social Media for Nurses: my ten step, slightly-ranty, version.

As always, your comments/feedback is welcome.

Paul McNamara, 21st July 2013

* Please consider this an apology in advance. I know for certain that an important/tragic event will happen on a Friday. Consequently, there is a pretty good chance that my #FF scheduled tweets will show up in the Twitter stream. This may seem incongruous and callously unaware at the time, but in reality it’s just a product of not being able to continuously monitor Twitter.

I hope no offence is taken; none is intended.

Thinking Health Communication? Think Mobile.

Uptake of mobile phones is pretty extraordinary in Australia. Our population has recently topped 23,000,000 (ABS) yet we have over 30,000,000 (ACMA) mobile phones in use. Are our health agencies keeping up with this?

This video above and blog post below explain the rationale for using SMS for health communication, and provides examples drawn from clinical practice.

IMG_1910Why Use SMS?

Many health agencies block the number on outgoing calls. From my experience in a role where I made phone contact with everyone who was referred to the service, I estimate that only one in every three or four calls are answered from a blocked number. From the same role, I found voice-to-text messaging for unanswered calls more common than voicemail by a similar factor – three or four to one. Although voice-to-text accuracy has improved remarkably over the last couple of years it’s still prone to muddling words. The other thing about voice-to-text is that it is difficult to confer detail or convey tone – both of which are important when addressing people who have been referred to a mental health service.

SMS1To get around this problem I made a number of template messages on the work mobile phone (a hideously clunky-to-use Nokiasaurus), and used these template messages as an adjunct/alternative to voicemail and voice-to-text. Most of the templates included my name, position, the name of the service, and a shortened URL. The rationale was to use the SMS as an introduction.

The wording of the SMS templates was done with input from a very skilled and passionate Consumer Consultant. Nevertheless, when i first started using them I was wondering whether we had got the tone and/or language wrong. There were very few prompt replies.

In my personal life SMS conversations have a pretty quick tempo: I send a message, you reply within a minute or so; I send a photo, you send an emoticon straight back.  A snappy way to communicate.

My Australian accent and this man's Japanese accent made verbal communication difficult and imprecise. SMS solved that.

My Australian accent and this man’s Japanese accent made verbal communication difficult and imprecise. SMS solved that.

Using the SMS template above rarely yielded a quick reply. People returned contact sometimes within a few hours, but more typically a day or so later. I imagine (guess) that they were waiting until they were in a place and a head-space where they would feel comfortable (or less uncomfortable?) talking to a mental health nurse they’ve never met. Fair enough – I’d do the exact same thing if the tables were turned.

The slowest return contact from a SMS was six weeks. That lady introduced herself by saying, “I was hoping I wouldn’t have to make this call, but things have changed now. I need some help please…”

Why use a short URL?

Simply, so that those with smartphones can easily visit the web site to see what we’re on about. The web presence and short URL are important, I think – it puts information about your service, alternative services, and other resources directly into someone’s hands.

Each SMS is only 160 characters long (why is a Tweet only 140?), and the full URL at 76 characters long would take-up nearly half the message: http://www.health.qld.gov.au/cairns_hinterland/html/pmh_referral_pathway.asp whereas by using a URL shortener we only use 17 characters http://qld.so/pmh

What is lost in corporate branding is made-up for in practicality.

Is it that big a deal – do people actually access the internet from their phone? You betcha! As you can see below, the market penetration of smartphones is highest amongst the age groups most associated with childbearing (i.e.: the perinatal mental health target demographic).

Mobile phone, smartphone and tablet usage. Source: Australian Communications and Media Authority (2013) Communications report 2011–12 series Report 3: Smartphones and tablets: Take-up and use in Australia. Commonwealth of Australia

Mobile phone, smartphone and tablet usage.
Source: Australian Communications and Media Authority (2013) Communications report 2011–12 series Report 3: Smartphones and tablets: Take-up and use in Australia. Commonwealth of Australia

Is This All a Bit White & Middle-Class?

Put the info where it's always handy: on your client's phone.  Brochures are so last century.

Put the info where it’s always handy: on your client’s phone.
Brochures are so last century.

This is a question us whitefellas who live in parts of Australia where there are a lot of first-nation people need to be checking on all the time. We don’t want to bugger-up an opportunity to do our bit towards closing the gap in health outcomes. So, in regards to mobile phone/internet use, it was interesting to see these three observations in the Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety report on the inquiry into Issues Surrounding Cyber-safety for Indigenous Australians (which was released last week):

  • “As for other young people in the community, mobile phones are a valuable communication tool for Indigenous youth who are enthusiastic adopters of the technology.” (3.5)
  • “Research shows that mobile phones, where coverage is available, are the preferred communications device for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.” (3.8)
  • “Smartphones have emerged as the preferred online platform, given limited household internet connectivity and the life circumstances of many Indigenous Australians.” (3.2)

referralThis information together with my clinical experience makes me feel pretty confident to say that mobile phones are not just a middle-class whitefella thing.

In 2011-2012 19% of perinatal mental health referrals I received were for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, and 99% of all people referred had a mobile phone number cited on their referral.

However, I was less successful in engaging Indigenous than non-Indigenous women via phone. I recognise and accept that my gender and cultural background are barriers for some, but it may also be that the template SMS messages might not be user-friendly across cultures. It’s not for me to say really, cultural safety is “an outcome of nursing and midwifery education that enables safe service to be defined by those that receive the service” (Ramsden 2002). With that in mind, it would be a good idea to revisit the wording of the SMS templates with some Indigenous health professionals and service users before replicating/adapting this communication strategy .

The Small Print

IMG_1906Please do not phone the numbers used in the screenshots as a way to access perinatal mental health or me. The funding period for that role was 23/08/10 – 30/06/13 (more info here).

The screenshots with text in green blocks used on this page and in the video are all of fair-dinkum exchanges of communication, but were manipulated via my personal smartphone to capture the way the conversation flowed (forwarded the actual SMS messages to my personal phone from the work Nokiasaurus).

The screenshots with text in blue blocks are completely fictional, made only for illustrative, artistic and/or comic affect.

It should be obvious that I am not representing any organisation here; if you’re still wondering please visit meta4RN.com/about and see Q13.

References

Australian Communications and Media Authority (2013) Communications report 2011–12 series Report 3: Smartphones and tablets: Take-up and use in Australia. Commonwealth of Australia

Image: International Morse Code, from Page 96 of Radio Receiving for Beginners. Rhey T. Snodgrass and Victor F. Camp (copyright 1922 by The MacMillan Company, New York), sourced via http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:International_Morse_code.png

Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety (June 2013) Issues Surrounding Cyber-Safety for Indigenous Australians. The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia: Canberra

Ramsden, I. (2002) Cultural Safety: Kawa Whakaruruhau, Massey.

End

As always, your comments/feedback are welcome.

Paul McNamara, 29th June 2013

Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Nurse eNetwork

At the 2nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Perinatal Infant Special Interest Group (PI SIG) of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN), a report will be given on the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Nurse eNetwork.

There’s over 200 more people on the eNetwork than who will be at the AGM, so this very brief post and 5 minute-long video are for those who are interested in the eNetwork but won’t have a chance to be in Noosa when the report is given.

In short, the eNetwork is growing, thus:

Slide06

Activity on the eNetwork is humming-along, like this:

Slide12

And the place to subscribe/unsubscribe is here:

If you want more info please visit this page and/or have a look at the video.

Two last things.

[1] I’m not representing the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses, or anyone else for that matter (see Q13 here). This video/blog post have come about because I had a bit to do with getting the eNetwork up and running, so am interested in looking-at and reporting-on its development. That’s it.

[2] This is a scheduled blog post. So, although written on 03/06/13, it’s scheduled to go public at about the same time the ACMHN PI SIG AGM ends.

Paul McNamara, 6th June 2013

Perinatal Mental Health Workshop: an experiment in social media enhanced education

The Workshop

The perinatal mental health workshop goes for 4 hours, with three scheduled 5-10 minute breaks. It has been repeated and refined dozens of times over the last 12 years (pretty sure I did the first one in 2001). I haven’t kept count of how many people have done it – it would be a number somewhere either side of 300, I guess. The workshop is based on adult learning principles and is divided into two parts: knowing (empirical learnings) and doing (experiential learning). An example of the flyer/agenda for the workshop is here (PDF). The primary message I want (hope) participants to take home is that by being authentic, emotionally intelligent professionals we can make our screening more sensitive and our responses more therapeutic.

In the perinatal mental health workshop we talk together. There is nearly always more than 100 years of clinical experience in the room, sometimes there is over 200 years of experience in the room.

There is no powerpoint presentation. There are nurses, midwives, indigenous health workers and allied health staff. We share our knowledge, our experiences and our stories with each other as a group. There is a lot of information to get through; the workshop facilitator’s job is to keep the mutual sharing of information safe, and to give it structure, credibility and meaning. The facilitator makes sure to keep the agenda and the learning objectives on track. As is befitting of an adult education session, the workshop is a conversation.

Maybe Twitter is just another conversation. A conversation not as intimate or in-depth as the one held in the workshop, but a conversation that isn’t restricted to one specific place or one specific group of people.

education

#bePNDaware data & screenshot courtesy of the Healthcare Hashtag Project via http://www.symplur.com

The Experiment

As an experiment on 8th February 2013 I used social media (this Twitter account linked to a Facebook page) to bookmark resources for participants and share them with anyone else who is interested. Using HootSuite 19 pre-scheduled Tweets with the #bePNDaware hashtag were sent before or during the workshop. One Tweet was sent during a break in the Workshop (the one about Circle of Security – I was rushing and sent a broken link – oops), and one after the workshop had finished (the one with the photo of the whiteboard).

The scheduling of tweets allowed the facilitator to be fully present during the workshop, while simultaneously making links to the resources/topics discussed in the workshop readily available to workshop participants and a broader audience.

9 other Twitter accounts retweeted 6 of the original tweets; the tweet re the Clinical Practice Guidelines was retweeted 3 times.  In all, between 7:00am and 7:00pm on 08/02/13 (Cairns time) there were 30 workshop-related Tweets which, through the compounding effects of social media, yielded a theoretical/potential reach of 17,783 (source). The actual impact would have been much smaller, but is difficult to quantify (for me, anyway).

To see who joined the conversation by retweeting and other data, please visit Symplur.

workshop

Geeky Stuff

I hope you like the video, here’s how it was done:

  • content was compiled, arranged and animated using Prezi
  • the completed Prezi was captured as video using ScreenFlow
  • the music Flying Over The Dateline by Moby is very generously provided free for non-commercial use via mobygratis.com in this instance the licence/approval number is 58935
  • the finished product was uploaded to YouTube

It takes a bit of mucking-around, but it looks/sounds pretty cool, I reckon. I’m not so confident that it will make sense to anyone who isn’t familiar with Twitter, but anyway…

Perinatal Stuff

The links tweeted during the perinatal mental health workshop (in order as they appear in the video and on this Storify) are:

Perinatal Mental Health – Cairns

National Perinatal Depression Initiative

Perinatal Mental Health Clinical Practice Guidelines

Perinatal Mental Health in Indigenous Communities 

Stay Connected, Stay Strong… Before and After Baby

Behind the Mask: the Hidden Struggle of Parenthood

Queensland Centre for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health

Still Face Experiment

Circle of Security

Using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale

Just Speak Up

PANDA

mindhealthconnect

Nurturing the Nurturers

Closing Remarks

That’s it for this attempt to use a 4 minute video to give a glimpse of a 4 hour workshop, and to share the idea of using social media as a tool to expand the reach of an education session.

Want to hear something funny? Of the workshop participants that day, two were on a self-imposed period of respite from Facebook, and none of them used Twitter. The experiment in social-media-enhanced-education was more useful to people away from the workshop than in it. Oh well – at least I can send the participants a link to the video now…

As always, your feedback is welcome.

Paul McNamara, 29th May 2013