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:
- Utilising social media collaboratively to strengthen interdisciplinary understanding and networking (Zara Mills)
- Twitter: a contemporary nursing conversation tool (Rhonda Wilson)
- 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:
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
#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.
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
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
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.
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
- 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
- Key Learnings
- Closing Remarks
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
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.
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.
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)
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
- Visual content assembled and arranged using Prezi
- The track “Sevastopol” generously provided royalty-free by mobygratis
- Vision and sound captured and melded using Screenflow
- 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
That’s it. Thanks for dropping by. As always, you’re welcome to leave comments/feedback below.
Paul McNamara, 1st October 2013