A Lesson in On-Demand Educational Resources: What every nurse should know about social media

Eloquest Healthcare welcomes guest blogger, Elizabeth Campbell, RN, MSN, CRNI.  Liz has over 20 years’ experience in IV therapy. She is currently the Presidential Advisor of the New England Chapter of the Infusion Nurses Society. Liz recently completed an appointment to the National Council on Education for the Infusion Nurses Society.  Her passion is teaching the art of infusion therapy to nurses.

As nurses, how can we effectively do it all? Work/life balance is crucial to our well-being. Professional licensure requires continuing education at least every two years. How can we answer our clinical questions quickly and conveniently? Social media to the rescue! By utilizing the internet and social media, knowledge is literally at our fingertips. While social media sites do not offer CE units, they can direct you to obtaining units in topics relevant to your practice. For example, my local INS chapter @INSNEChapter sends out tweets with our latest educational offerings.

Access to healthcare education has changed. Do you want to learn about a new infusion pump on the market? Are you going to infuse a patient with gamma globulin? Do you know the proper titration rates? Does your patient have trouble keeping their central line dressing intact? Do you have other clinical question that you can’t get the answer to? It’s likely that the internet has an instant solution.

Social Media
What if I told you that by following some clinical thought leaders you can access credible, relevant articles from peer-reviewed journals on Twitter? Additionally, there are groups on Facebook and LinkedIn that give you access to communicate with internationally respected experts. Having this real-time tool has been invaluable in my practice. On Facebook, I am one of over 2,500 clinicians in a group called “Vascular Access and Infusion Specialists”. Recently I sent out a question to the group regarding the use of midline catheters. I received answers to my specific situation within an hour and from a variety of clinicians. As a bonus, once you are in the group, you can search additional topics that may be of interest to you.

Conference Apps
Our smartphones and tablets can now open doors to distance learning. When attending conferences for Infusion Nurses Society (INS) or Association for Vascular Access (AVA) you are instructed to download the conference “App”. This App interface is available at other clinical conferences as well. It enables you to have access to the presentation handouts, slides, posters and speaker contact information. Having this tool provides convenient and on-demand knowledge using late-breaking data that you can apply to your practice immediately.

Clinical Webcasts
Live or recorded presentations from clinical experts can be a great resource for individual or group education. These are often hosted on nursing organization and other sites catering to health care professionals, making it easy to identify and sign up for topics that interest you. If you are unable to attend live there is typically the ability to review the content in recorded format at another date. An example of one that I would highly recommend is Dr. Jack LeDonne’s webcast, “Modern Vascular Access: The Relationship Between Insertion and Maintenance“.

Don’t have time to write those ideas down? Follow me on one of the platforms listed below. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to this blog which is a great resource for up-to-date information on important clinical topics. Once you begin utilizing social media, it will become easier. Some find it addictive! As you begin to find people or industry of interest to you, you will receive suggestions on who to follow, thereby expanding your clinical network. Keep in mind that you can control the extent to which personal information is made available through these resources. Some have found that a dedicated e-mail address and/or social media accounts for this purpose to be valuable. Doing so helps eliminate compromising your security while ensuring access to critical information.

Connect with Elizabeth on LinkedIn
Follow Elizabeth on Facebook
Follow Elizabeth on Twitter
Follow Elizabeth on Instagram