Social media is affecting all spheres of life and no profession is left untouched by the impact of social media and nursing profession is no exception. Nobody can deny the benefits of social media for the profession of nursing yet its disadvantages for the registered nurses and student nurses during clinical practice cannot be ignored. “Social media can be defined as the constellation of internet-based tools that help a user to connect, collaborate, and communicate with others in real time” (Ressler & Glazer, 2010). Social media is growing at a very rapid rate and is now the mainstream communication method for most of the global population (http://www.internetworldstats.com/facebook.htm). It has brought a tremendous revolution in communication and disseminating information to nurses round the world.
Social media have provided opportunities to nurses to actively participate in events with the comfort of a home. Gone are the days when meetings were held in large assembly rooms and preparations were needed to accommodate large number of people. In voluntary organizations’ meetings people were compelled to participate in a face to face meeting after a much debated place to hold the meeting. Now participants do not need to worry to go to faraway places to attend a meeting, group discussion, class, seminar and many other events. Due to technological boom availability of the internet has increased many folds. In addition to personal computers, laptops, televisions and tablets it has even embraced mobile phones and transformed these into smart phones.
These days’ health care systems are using social media to improve quality and safety of overall health care delivery, through access to information. Nurses as well as patients can get detailed information about the diseases thorough Wikis’ and many other medical blogs. According to Ferguson (2013), “Social media allow an open dialogue between health care consumers and providers, allowing for continuous feedback and engagement”. One of the examples is http://www.liveperson.com/experts/health-medicine/nursing/ where anybody can ask information about their concerns for nursing care. Through social media a nurse can easily review information rather than shuffling pages of the book at the bedside of the patient (that may be outdated in a few years); the internet seems better option in which any information available can be updated by any nursing professional, educationist or researcher.
Moreover, nurses can also collaborate and form professional groups to carry out research works even sitting in different parts of the world. For instance, www.researchgate.net/ is one of the social networking sites which can be used to view publications, ask and answer questions to queries of various researchers. Other SNSs’ www.theconversation.com.edu enables nursing academicians to publish their articles on the website which is available freely to wider audiences and allows access to discussion and debate regarding the...