The use of electronic communication such as social media has expanded exponentially in the recent couple of years as the number of the available social media platforms and outlets continue to increase. Today, it is possible for individuals to use social networking sites, online chat rooms, blogs and video chats forums to communicate both at a personal and a professional manner with others. When used wisely, social media is a valuable and exciting tool. However, it is important to note that social media has both disadvantages and advantages and this also applies to the nursing profession.
Also referred to as social networking, social media entails the utilization of online technological tools that make it possible for people to communicate easily and share information. Social networking sites pertain to any web site where individuals create personal accounts and get connected with colleagues who are registered under the website. Currently, there are many online nursing programs networking sites that allow for these kinds of services.
Gone are the days where lectures were held in classrooms. Today with the introduction of e-Learning social media platforms, it is now possible for students to actively participate in lectures within the comfort of a home. Indeed social media has produced a great impact on the society and in particular the education sector. Nursing practitioners and students being part of that community are also benefiting from this use of social media.
Social media has made it possible to have online nursing programs through e-Learning where students can discuss their class work tasks using Google Hangouts. Twitter has become a popular platform for online nursing programs that enables students to engage in discussions and share resources. Social media provides an opportunity where students enhance and personalize their individual experiences allowing them to ask questions and also collaborate in completing class assignments. Social media has enabled learning experiences to no longer be limited to the physical walls of classrooms. The world has greatly embraced social media and one of the greatest benefits according to lecturers is that it is now possible to reach students through a number of social media avenues.
Social media has provided an easily accessible platform where students can easily communicate. For the working nursing students, social media enables them to find peers working in the same field from different spheres of the world and share their experiences. Class room meeting can be attended online saving time and money for traveling. When faced with difficulties, social media use provides a good source of practical and emotional support where students and nursing professionals share different experiences with each other. It is also important to note that social media not only helps in the exchange of information and ideas during learning but after completion of the course studies, it helps in finding jobs.
In the health care setting, social media use is quite beneficial in a variety of ways that include promoting timely patients communications, enhancing patients education as well as fostering professional connections. Social media provides an able platform where nurses express their concerns, reflect and seek assistance from their fellow colleagues.