If you are following the blog then it’s quite likely that you will have some interest, or at least access to social media.
Here in postgrad we believe social media (#SoMe for any twitteratti) is a fantastic tool for learning and sharing. In the trust we’ve got some great examples such as the undergrad team’s work on youtube, and the EDs work on socio-constructivist e-learning.
However, there are potential downsides to social media and it’s possibly (if you’re a bit daft) to get yourself in a spot of bother with patients, your employer and even the GMC. You may even remember the junior docs who were suspended for lying down on the job….
There’s quite a bit of guidance out there already, including the latest release of trust guidelines on the use of social media by staff. If you’re into this sort of thing give it a quick read. There’s little controversial in there and it’s all basically sensible stuff.
- GMC Guidance on Social Media Use
- MPS tweeting into trouble
- CMFT guidelines on Social media use social_media_guidelines__final_
In summary the rules for social media are pretty much the same rules as in all other forms of communication. Be sensible, be wise and don’t say anything online that you would not be prepared to be overheard whilst talking at a bus stop.
Social media does not make clinicians make errors, it’s just that when they do make mistakes it has the potential to be done in front of a much wider audience. As a colleague once put it…
‘social media does not make someone an idiot, it just helps them announce it to many more people’
My only concern is that we do not get carried away with the potential dangers of social media without also embracing the incredible potential for education and development. Learning through social media is already commonplace in many professions and within some medical specialities, it is inevitable that we will see a growth in clinician involvement and participation over the next few years.
#SoMe is the future…., well it is in Emergency Medicine anyway😉