Social media platforms and smart phone apps could be become valuable tools for nurses to diagnose, plan and implement patient care, according to a James Cook University Bachelor of Nursing student.
Evan Casella, a second year student and research assistant in the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition at JCU, has been selected to present on the role of social media in nursing at the International Council of Nursing (ICN) Congress in Melbourne on May 18-23.
WHO Collaborating Centre Director Professor Kim Usher has been invited to speak on disaster response issues for nursing because of her work with the Asia Pacific Emergency Disaster Nursing Network and recent research publications about the impact of Cyclone Yasi.
“Being selected to present in the undergraduate session at the ICN is highly contested and Evan had to undergo a rigorous selection process,” Professor Usher said.
Mr Casella said mobile technology was already in use with mHealth, which has a number of apps including one where teenagers with diabetes enter blood glucose data and correspond with a Twitter-like community so health professionals can monitor their diabetes management.
“The extended use of social media within the nursing process could profoundly connect nurses to their patients and other professionals, resulting in more comprehensive, accessible care and social presence,” he said.
“Social media groups would be useful for high-risk patients struggling with out-of-hospital care, for example those suffering from recurring diabetic complications could be enrolled in private Facebook groups with a nurse designated as the group leader.
“Diabetes management could be implemented by sending alerts to check blood glucose levels, posting healthy recipes and uploading exercise ideas.
“By being socially active with their experiences of diabetes management, patients could gain ideas, inspiration and a sense of connectedness with others experiencing similar problems.”
Mr Casella said social media-based diagnostic games could test nurses by asking for a diagnosis from a case study, with the complexity of the case studies increasing as the nurse progressed through the various levels.
Issued May 7, 2013
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