Useful connections, resources and ideas…The power of Twitter.

In the last week, Twitter has enabled me to look at things from a different perspective. Here are a few highlights of my Twitter week!

It all started last Sunday when @FloNursingTales tweeted about the importance of a good personal tutor. It made me think and I so joined the conversation. Although I am often time restricted, I still see my personal students at least twice per semester on an individual basis, although in reality it is often more. I am always available for queries via email or telephone, and if I am in the office, students will often drop in to ask a quick question. It seems the Twitter conversation made @FloNursingTales think about it too as she followed on with a great blog http://florencenursingtales.blogspot.co.uk suggesting that students can neglect to fully utilise their personal tutor, which she suggests is an undervalued and fruitful support system. I enjoy my role as personal tutor and particularly enjoy seeing student develop and progress over three years. I considered the idea of formalising the extension of the role for students to access their personal tutors for some time after qualifying, as many of  my students informally continue to ask me for advice after they have left the university.

On Monday I made some connections with @SueHaines1 who had tweeted about a fabulous peer mentor system used at the University of Nottingham. I knew that this was area that @levylass was interested in so helped to connect them with a tweet. The University of Nottingham are also running a fantastic junior leadership academy for student nurses which I hope to learn more about.

On Tuesday, I thought about an email I had received asking for thoughts on a pending review of academic supervision guidelines. After a discussion in the office where tales of experiences of academic supervision in other universities were encountered, I decided to ask the nursing community on Twitter and @levylass had the same idea

and so what I though would be a quick question turned in to a discussion and again gave us much food for thought. It seems that each university has a slightly different approach to the supervision they offer to their student nurses for their academic assignments. These approaches were duly considered. Here is the storify of the evening.

On Wednesday, I was please to see two Salford University mental health lecturers joined the Twittersphere @KeelingJoanne and @cathmcqu. After more discussion on academic supervision, a suggestion was made by @caltwit to write a joint paper regarding experiences of academic supervision. Great collaboration.

On Thursday, I joined a discussion on Dilemmas in Care with @WeNurses. Some of the discussion was around conscientious objection. I wondered how many nurses actually do object, as surely they would not choose to work in an area where termination of pregnancy  is carried out? Although clearly this becomes a problem when it occurs outside of those areas. I revisited  NMC guidance  on conscientious objection and thought about how this is delivered in nurse education.

On Friday I was invited to shadow Executive Director @karendawber for the day at Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust. I have gratefully accepted this invitation. I am looking forward to observing leadership in action and hearing about changes in response to the Francis Report. It is incredibly important to ensure that we are educating our nurses of the future in partnership with clinical areas. Also on Friday @schoolsimprove asked if all schools should have defibrillators. This made me think about the importance of teaching children and young people basic life support skills. I was directed to some great ‘Monkey’ resources by @KathEvans2 and @helensadler4 and also Teach the Difference from @StJohnAmbulance,. I think it is incredibly important to have defibrillators in public places. Indeed I have discussed the need for this at my place of work with colleagues very recently, but I also think that basic life support training is essential for all.

I find that the power of Twitter to connect professionals is often underestimated by those who haven’t yet joined us. This week however, I have made numerous useful connections, I’ve been directed to and accessed useful, relevant and up to date resources. I’ve been kept abreast of news items and I’ve been given lots of ideas to develop. I am often asked ‘how do you find the time for Twitter?’. The answer is simple, I make time because it helps me to do my job better.

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