It amazes me the amount of content that is available in our nursing journals on the subject of technology and social media. From simulation mannequins and electronic health records (EHRs) to handheld devices and mobile apps to blogs and twitter, the way we learn and communicate is forever changed. For some of us, these changes are overwhelming – there is so much to learn. For others, maintaining confidentiality and professionalism is most concerning. Some of us welcome new technology; even thrive on it, believing that easy access to reliable information will increase productivity and lead to better patient outcomes. And some of us, myself included, are experiencing all of those feelings – it is overwhelming, we do have a big responsibility to protect our patients and act professionally, and the benefits are numerous.
So what is a nurse to do? Learn about what's out there! When a new technology is presented, take advantage of the inservices or staff educators on the unit who are there to teach you. If you use a smartphone, search for apps that will help you in your practice and try them out. If you blog or use social media, make sure you're familiar with the American Nurses Association's Principles for Social Networking and the Nurse: Guidance for the Registered Nurse. Also, grow your online network with other nurses, whether on Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress, or another platform. I have learned so much about healthcare, nursing, and social media from my fellow nurses all around the world.