Academic journal article Online Journal of Issues in Nursing

Social Media and Nurses: Insights for Promoting Health for Individual and Professional Use

Academic journal article Online Journal of Issues in Nursing

Social Media and Nurses: Insights for Promoting Health for Individual and Professional Use

Article excerpt

Information communication technology has become a regular part of daily life, both at work and at home. This is true for nursing, where the application of technology is an integral part of the profession. Nurses are increasingly expected to develop competencies in informatics (Remus & Kennedy. 2012). The Technologies Informatics Guiding Education Reform (TIGER) Initiative is one example of how nurses are focused on advancing the integrations of technology into practice (McBride, Tietze, & Fenton, 2013). The decreased cost of personal computing and internet connectivity has increased the impact of technology on nurses, beyond enterprise technology, such as electronic charting systems. One major change that has emerged in technology use is social media. A study in 2013 found that 73% of adults in the United States use social media and almost half participate in multiple networking sites (Duaaan & Smith. 2013). As the use of this technology grows, the impact it has on nurses becomes an increasingly important issue (MteaVfiE,..Lindsay«...&..G.itslm.a.n .20.1.3.)*

Social media impacts the health of individuals and groups (Fox & Duggan, 2013a), and specifically has the potential to have a lasting impact on nurses' health. In this article, health is defined using Huber et ai's definition "health, as the ability to adapt and self-manage" (2011. p. 2). Use of social media may impact the health of both individual nurses and their workplaces. However, a discussion of social media and nurse health is very complex due to the variety of applications and levels of use. For example, many nurses use social media for both personal and professional reasons. Employers of nurses use social media to engage/support their nursing workforce and consumers of their services. Finally, use of social media has many potential health benefits, but also potential risks. This article will provide a brief background of social media and nursing; explore individual and workplace implications of social media and the health of nurses; offer selected Social Media: A Brief Overview

Communication has been permanently changed by social media. A broad conceptual definition of social media is the online and mobile accessible services that enable individuals to connect, collaborate, and share with others in real time (Ressler & Glazer, 2010). Common examples include Facebook®, Twitter®, and Google+®. Social media is about the ability to easily connect, save, and access content through services that enable information sharing and collaboration with others.

Under this broad understanding, social media can be used in many different ways. The most obvious impact of these technologies is social opportunities. A prime example of social media is Facebook®, a service focused on social networking by allowing the user to connect with family and friends. Since its initial launch, Facebook® has added other features (e.g., sending electronic gifts, planning events). There are a growing number of social media tools that focus on digital services (e.g. creating a professional documents, uploading pictures, getting travel directions) and then build in social components to enable feedback, collaboration, and sharing amongst users.

Social media is also expanding into different areas related to health. For example, PatientsLikeMe® (2014) is a newly created service that allows patients to monitor their disease, treatments, and self-reported experiences. The social component allows users to share information with other patients that have the same medical condition, as well as with health researchers and healthcare providers. There are a growing number of sites for health and healthcare related purposes, such as tracking health measures, rating healthcare providers, and hospital services (Fox & Duggan, 2013b). Social media is being used by people across the healthcare system, so it is prudent to discuss the benefits, risks, and best practices for social media amongst nurses. …

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