Tag Archives: Twitter

Health Professionalism and Digital Citizenship

This post is the companian peice to a Prezi of the same name, and serves mostly as a collection point for references and thanks.


The Prezi is intended as an oral presentation, so I do not intend to include a full description of the content here. After watching the Prezi/hearing the presentation regular visitors to meta4RN.com will recognise some familiar themes. Let’s not call it self-plagarism (such an ugly term), I would rather think of it as a new, funky remix of a favourite old song. Due to this remixing of old content I’ve included previous meta4RN.com blog posts on the reference list.

I am more than just a bit embarrassed at how self-referential the Prezi/my presentation is. Not only does this make me look like a total narcissist, it also calls the credibility of the presentation into question. I’ll need to cop those criticisms on the chin until more Australian mental health nurses provide examples of professional use of social media. When that happens, I intend to replace some of the meta4RN content of the Prezi with that of other Australian mental health nurses.



Thanks to all those who contributed to the Prezi/presentation either directly or indirectly. There are too many to name at the moment [I have a deadline looming], but you’ll see glimpses of their names and faces on Twitter, Blogs and Facebook as you look through the Prezi. These are some of the people that make using social media such a pleasure. When I have time, I intend to come back and list all the contributors below:




References for Prezi “Health Professionalism and Digital Citizenship” prezi.com/at84cig99fij/health-professionalism-and-digital-citizenship/

Australian College of Nursing (n.d.) Social media guidelines for nurses. Retreived from http://www.rcna.org.au/WCM/…for_nurses.pdf

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. (2014, March 17). Social media policy. Retrieved from http://www.ahpra.gov.au/News/2014-02-13-revised-guidelines-code-and-policy.aspx

Casella, E., Mills, J., & Usher, K. (2014). Social media and nursing practice: Changing the balance between the social and technical aspects of work. Collegian, 21(2), 121–126. doi:10.1016/j.colegn.2014.03.005

Citizen Kane DVD cover. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.currentfilm.com/dvdreviews4/citizenkanedvd.html

Facebook. (2015). Facebook logo. Retrieved from https://www.facebookbrand.com/
Ferguson, C., Inglis, S. C., Newton, P. J., Cripps, P. J. S., Macdonald, P. S., & Davidson, P. M. (2014).

Social media: A tool to spread information: A case study analysis of Twitter conversation at the Cardiac Society of Australia & New Zealand 61st Annual Scientific Meeting 2013. Collegian, 21(2), 89–93. doi:10.1016/j.colegn.2014.03.002

Instagram. (2015). Instagram logo. Retrieved from https://help.instagram.com/304689166306603

Li, C. (2015). Charlene Li photo. Retrieved from http://www.charleneli.com/about-charlene/reviewer-resources/

lifeinthefastlane. (2013). #FOAMed logo. Retrieved from http://lifeinthefastlane.com/foam/

McNamara, P., & Meijome, X. M. (2015). Twitter Para Enfermeras (Spanish/Español). Retrieved 11 March 2015, from http://www.ausmed.com.au/es/twitter-para-enfermeras/

McNamara, P. (2014). A Nurse’s Guide to Twitter. Retrieved from http://www.ausmed.com.au/twitter-for-nurses/

McNamara, P. (2014, May 3) Luddites I have known. Retrieved from http://meta4RN.com/luddites

McNamara, P. (2013) Behave online as you would in real life (letter to the editor), TQN: The Queensland Nurse, June 2013, Volume 32, Number 3, Page 4.

McNamara, P. (2013, October 25) Professional use of Twitter and healthcare social media. Retrieved from http://meta4RN.com/NPD100

McNamara, P. (2013, October 23) A Twitter workshop in tweets. Retrieved from http://meta4RN.com/tweets

McNamara, P. (2013, October 1) Professional use of Twitter. Retrieved from http://meta4RN.com/poster

McNamara, P. (2013, July 21) Follow Friday and other twitterisms. Retrieved from http://meta4RN.com/FF

McNamara, P. (2013, June 7) Omnipresent and always available: A mental health nurse on Twitter. Retrieved from http://meta4RN.com/twit

McNamara, P. (2013, January 20) Social media for nurses: my ten-step, slightly ranty, version. Retrieved from http://meta4RN.com/rant1

Moorley, C., & Chinn, T. (2014). Using social media for continuous professional development. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 71(4), 713–717. doi:10.1111/jan.12504

New South Wales Nurses and Midwives Association [nswnma]. (2014, July 30). Women now have unmediated access to public conversation via social media for 1st time in history @JaneCaro #NSWNMAconf14 #destroythejoint [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/nswnma/status/494313737575096321

New South Wales nurses and Midwives’ Association. (2014). NSW Nurses & Midwives Association logo. Retrieved from http://housingstressed.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/NSWNMA.png

Nickson, C. P., & Cadogan, M. D. (2014). Free Open Access Medical education (FOAM) for the emergency physician. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 26(1), 76–83. doi:10.1111/1742-6723.12191

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (2010, September 9) Information sheet on social media. Retrieved from http://www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au/documents/default.aspx?record=WD10%2F3224&dbid=AP&chksum=qhog9%2FUCgKdssFmA0XnBlA%3D%3D

Twitter. (2015). Twitter logo. Retrieved from https://about.twitter.com/press/brand-assets

Wall Media. (2015). Jane Caro photo. Retrieved from http://wallmedia.com.au/jane-caro/

Wilson, R., Ranse, J., Cashin, A., & McNamara, P. (2014). Nurses and Twitter: The good, the bad, and the reluctant. Collegian, 21(2), 111–119. doi:10.1016/j.colegn.2013.09.003

WordPress. (2015). WordPress logo. Retrieved from https://wordpress.org/about/logos/

Wozniak, H., Uys, P., & Mahoney, M. J. (2012). Digital communication in a networked world. In J.

Higgs, R. Ajjawi, L. McAllister, F. Trede, & S. Loftus (Eds.), Communication in the health sciences (3rd ed., pp. 150–162). South Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.

YouTube. (2015). YouTube logo. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/yt/brand/downloads.html


That’s it. As always your comments are welcome.

Paul McNamara, 14th March 2015


A Nurse’s Guide to Twitter

Today Ausmed Nursing Education launched the web page “A Nurse’s Guide to Twitter”. I was very pleased when Will Egan from Ausmed asked me submit the content. Now that I’ve seen how great it looks online I’m very very pleased.

The web page looks really cool.

Check it out for yourself via www.ausmed.com.au/twitter-for-nurses or the short URL aus.md/tfn

I’m writing this blog post purely to link to Ausmed page. Yes, that’s right: this web page is about another web page. There’s that meta part of meta4RN again. :-)

While I’m at it, I want to make an acknowledgement. The process of writing for Ausmed was great. Not only did they pay for the article to be written (a first for me), but they asked for my approval to all the edits that were made (another first for me – I’ve never had that courtesy extended by other publications). To top it off, the Ausmed team made my humble text look great! Aesthetics = accessibility. A big thanks to Will Egan specifically, and the Ausmed team generally.


That’s it. Please go have a look at aus.md/tfn now!

Paul McNamara, 21st November 2014

Short URL: meta4RN.com/ausmed


Free Open Access Mental Health Education for General Nurses and Midwives #FOANed

If you’re a nurse or midwife, and own an internet-enabled device you have unprecedented access to information.

Information + motivation = education.

Borrowing from the very successful #FOAMed initiative, recently there has been a flurry of activity regarding Free Open Access Nursing Education (aka #FOANed).  That is:


The #FOANed hashtag makes it’s easy to share info and resources via social media. If you’re cruising Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or even Instagram, have a look for the #FOANed hashtag.

Still not sure what the #FOANed hashtag is all about? Perhaps it’s just easier to see for yourself via this Storify (click here).

Mental Health #FOANed

Anyway, in the spirit of #FOANed, here are four suggestions for free open access nursing education re mental health for general nurses and midwives (click on each picture for more info):

1. Physical and Mental Health Care via Australian College of Mental Health Nurses:

2. Mental Health Liaison in General Hospitals via New South Wales Health:



3. Perinatal Mental Health Training for Midwives via Monash University:



4. MIND Essentials via Queensland Health:

Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list of the mental health #FOANed available online, but hopefully it’s enough to get you started if you’re looking for some CPD/info.

Please feel free to add your suggestions for other free open access nursing education re mental health in the comments section below.

Paul McNamara, 20th October 2014

Short URL: meta4RN.com/FOANed

A Blog About A Blog About Suicide

I’m going to keep this short.

On the eve of the second anniversary of the meta4RN.com blog we (guest writer Stevie Jacobs and I) have finally released her powerful, gutsy post “These words have been in my head and they needed to come out (a blog post about suicide).” I thought by opening up meta4RN.com to occasional guest posts I would save myself some time and effort. Ha! Stevie’s post has had the longest, most difficult gestation of all of the posts on this blog.

Why? It’s not because of Stevie’s writing – she writes very well – It’s because of the content.

It’s because we don’t know how to talk about suicide.

mindframe I remember as a 14  year old learning about suicidal ideation via the famous Hamlet soliloquy which starts: “To be, or not to be, that is the question…” Shakespeare didn’t seem to be as afraid as getting the tone/message wrong as Stevie Jacobs and I have been.

Luckily, we don’t have to navigate this tricky territory without a map. Mindframe – Australia’s national media initiative – have some very handy tips aimed (mostly) at media. They also have info for universities, the performing arts, police and courts. It would be silly to replicate all their information here – cut out the middle-man and visit the Mindframe website:

The only thing I want to make sure is included here is that we, the health professionals, remain mindful of responsible use of language in social media, including blogs (and Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc) . Melissa Sweet of croakey (the Crikey health blog) has used the term “citizen journalist” to refer to us non-journos who are active on social media. I have shied-away from that label because I have zero knowledge/pretensions of being a journalist. However, when it comes to talking about mental health and/or suicide, I reckon that those of using social media as health professionals should take some ownership of the “citizen journalist” tag.

Health professionals are used to being informed by evidence-based guidelines, right? That’s what the Mindframe guidelines are. They are guidelines for how language should be used by journalists. Those of us who are blogging/Tweeting/Facebooking/whatever can, if we choose to be safe and ethical, abide by the same code of good practice (here).

Let’s watch our language.

Let’s edit and re-edit.

Let’s reflect and think about our impact. Let’s do that slowly.

Let’s be safe. ethical and kind.

Let’s do no harm.

Let’s follow the Mindframe guidelines when we’re blogging about mental health and/or suicide.


That’s it. Thanks for visiting.

If you haven’t done so already, visit Stevie Jacob’s guest post here: meta4RN.com/guest02 My favourite part is the middle part (the meat in the sandwich?) which is honest, powerful, raw and gutsy. I hope/think that the edits made have been in keeping with the Mindframe guidelines. If  not, that is my responsibility. Please let me know and I will fix it as soon as possible.

Paul McNamara, 23rd September 2014

Short URL: meta4RN.com/mindframe

Luddites I Have Known

In the never-ending quest to enthuse midwives and nurses about professional use of social media I’ve talked to people about it, given inservice education sessions, demonstrated is use as an adjunct to education, facilitated workshops, submitted conference posters, contributed to journal articles and have been invited to speak at conferences. To spread the word I’ve taken the risk of being called geek wanker narcissist, and even had cards printed:


When I talk to people about health care social media, I always mention how it lets information be shared quickly and easily,  and network with people from a range of professions/walks-of-life from all around the world. However, the thing I value the most and try to emphasise the most, is the participative, interactive nature of social media. Social media is where the debates are held; those of us who want to influence and participate in decisions gather and test our ideas on social media. Twitter is especially good for this: it lets anyone join in and contribute to- and be enlightened by- the contest of ideas.

To see how Twitter works to share information and the contest of ideas, see these two recent examples (click on the pics to see the complete conversations unfurl):

In health and education roles I encounter many people who give dumb blanket statements like, “I will never use Twitter – I don’t care what Justin Bieber had for breakfast”. Much to my embarrassment, this is the sort of thing I hear nurses (especially those in positions of influence and power) say all the time. These people are so stubborn that they won’t even look, listen or learn about professional use of social media.

A few months ago two Australian nurse lecturers forthrightly and very confidently told me that Twitter and facts are (somehow) mutually exclusive, and they do not and never will use it. I tried being zen about the whole thing (water flows around resistance, rocks in the stream shift or erode), and celebrated some of the nurse academics who are more enlightned about health care social media (see storify.com/meta4RN/lecturers).

However, the same thing keeps happening: people in positions of power and influence in the health care and higher education systems are still using silly, uninformed, blanket statements to decry the use of social media and warn people off from using it.

No more Mr Nice Guy – I’m calling these people what they are: Luddites.

People being resistive to new technologies and innovations is not new, and in my lifetime I have seen that change is inevitable – the luddites and laggards will catch-up eventually.

In the 1970s I knew people who refused to play video-games like Space Invaders – “No it’s too confusing, I’m sticking with the pinball machine” said my friend when we went into the pinball parlour.

In the 1980s I knew people who refused to use ATMs (automatic teller machines) – “No, you can’t trust a little card and machine. I’ll wait until the bank opens on Monday.” said my relative.

In the 1990s I knew people who refused to use computers. Every now and then I still hear people say, “I don’t believe in computers” as if computers are akin to the tooth fairy or religion.

In the 2000s I knew people who refused to use a mobile phone, “Why would I ever need one?”, people would say. Now, in Australia, there are more mobile phones than people (for more info: meta4RN.com/mobile).

In the 2010s I know people who refuse to use social media. As evidenced by the “I don’t need to know what Justin Bieber had for breakfast” type of statements, the reason they don’t use it is twofold: [1] they do not understand it, and [2] they decline the opportunities to learn.

I guess I should be patient with my resistive colleagues – history shows that they’ll come around eventually. However, for those nurses and midwives in positions of power and influence, I’m hoping people will print and fax you a copy of this picture below. If  you can’t summon the willingness to learn about professional health care social media, please summon the dignity and sense to stop critiquing something you do not understand.


PDF version (suitable to print and fax to a social media denier of your choosing): Luddites

As always, your comments/feedback is welcome.

Paul McNamara, 3rd May 2014





The "Before" picture: 11th March 2014

The “Before” picture: 11th March 2014

Once upon a time I worked in a pilot program as a School-Based Youth Health Nurse. This role put me in close contact with teachers. By listening to their conversations about managing classroom behaviour I was introduced to a strategy that teachers use: “Catch them being good“.

In short, the teachers said it was very easy to get caught-up in noticing and reprimanding students about unwanted behaviours – so easy that it could completely monopolise lesson time some days. A smarter strategy was to hone-in on, recognise and celebrate students who were behaving well. Don’t try to catch students being naughty – try to catch them being good.

Over the last two weeks Australian Health Professionals have caught AHPRA, the agency that regulates us all, being good.

joiningOn Monday 19th March 2014 AHPRA joined the conversation on Twitter. After years of watching the AHPRA Twitter handle sit as stony-faced and as silent as an Easter Island statue, it suddenly sprang to life.

A few days later AHPRA announced that there would be changes to the advertising guidelines to be clearer about the use of testimonials, This change was in response to many concerns being raised by health practitioners that the initial set of guidelines had unrealistic, unworkable expectations regarding the use of social media.

Then, on Friday 28th March 2014, there was a Twitter chat with AHPRA CEO Martin Fletcher using the hashtag #AHPRAqanda. Health professionals were able to seek clarity around expectations of the advertising and social media guidelines, and engage directly with AHPRA and each other about specific concerns.

The "After" picture: 30th March 2014

The “After” picture: 30th March 2014

AHPRA are only two weeks into their engagement on Twitter and have been pretty clear that they intend to walk before they try to run.

I am very pleased that AHPRA are on Twitter because it will help me address some of the fear (bordering on paranoia) that is expressed every time I facilitate an inservice on professional use of social media. Health professionals often express that they are reluctant to use social media in a professional sense because they fear that either their employer or AHPRA will see it as a bad thing. Now I will be able to confidently counter that concern by reinforcing my previous argument that health professionals should be unafraid to speak up and join in the conversation on social media.

Now that AHPRA has joined the conversation, maybe there is something of a bridge across “the big scary chasm” between the early adopters and the majority of Australian healthcare professionals using social media.

Let’s hope so.


As always, comments are welcome.

Paul McNamara, 30th March 2014

Professional use of Twitter and Healthcare Social Media #NPD100


About the Conference

Peter Carr is an innovative Nurse Lecturer who coordinates the subject NPD100 Health Communications, Research and Informatics for undergraduate nurses at The University of Notre Dame Australia.

Peter, with support from his colleagues and students, has organised the SMART CARE Conference (SMART = Social Media Application for Research and Teaching) hosted by the University of Notre Dame, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Fremantle campus on Friday 25th of October, 2013. More about the conference here: #NPD100 The Conference

The tagline on the poster “#NPD100 The Conference” refers to the neat trick of using the subject code as the hashtag. Such a good idea. Some universities and workplaces still have a stop it or you’ll go blind! kind of attitude towards social media, so it’s very refreshing to see a university subject that so strongly encourages students to utilise social media professionally, to be digital citizens.

It is a terrific honour to be asked to contribute at this conference – I’m very grateful to Peter for asking me along. Together with Kane Guthrie and Marie Ennis O’Connor, we will have time to explore some of the uses of health care social media. To assist the flow of ideas to continue beyond one Friday in Freo, a copy of my #NPD100 SMART CARE Conference presentation is included below.

Professional use of Twitter and Healthcare Social Media

Two Notes in Closing

  1. Regular visitors to meta4RN will recognise the presentation above as having a lot in common with this recent post: meta4RN.com/poster. Yes folks: self-plagarism is alive and well. However, in my defence, the #NPD100 presentation will be able to explore some of these ideas in a lot more detail than the poster version.
  2. Ironically, I’m about to go pretty quiet on social media for a couple of weeks. After spending all week in Perth and Fremantle talking about and using social media, I’m going on holiday in country Western Australia with my lovely partner. On one of the slides above I present balance as being one of the risks of using social media. To manage that risk, there are times when ignoring social media and simply enjoying time with the people you love is the sensible, balanced thing to do. Digital citizens need to be analogue citizens too. :-)

See you in a couple of weeks!

Paul McNamara, 25th October 2013