For those in the nursing profession, communicating clearly and effectively with patients is one of the most important aspects of excelling in the role. Today, as technology keeps advancing and becoming a more normalized part of our everyday lives, nurses are gaining more ways to communicate with their patients. This being the case, it’s important for those in the nursing field to keep their eyes on the future technology in nursing and the benefits it can bring.
Social media is one of the most powerful tools that nurses have at their disposal today to communicate with the patients they treat and understanding how to utilize this tool can increase the efficacy and efficiency of the ways nurses are able to communicate. Having some guidance around how to take advantage of this form of technology can make it easier for nurses to implement them into their everyday processes.
Here is how nurses can utilize social media to communicate with patients.
Keeping Communication Consistent
For medical professionals, consistently communicating with patients can be an important part of providing treatment and care. Unfortunately, this can be easier said than done due to the barriers medical professionals have between themselves and their patients. This is especially true for nurses and, traditionally, nurses have had almost no way to keep up with the patients that they treat.
Thankfully, social media has presented itself as the natural antidote to this problem, allowing nurses to easily keep up a consistent line of communication with their patients. In addition to making it easier for nurses to communicate, it has also made communication with medical professionals more accessible for patients.
Whereas in the past patients may have decided against attempts to communicate with medical professionals outside of appointments due to the hassle, today, social media has made communicating with medical professionals easier than ever.
Nurses intent on having consistent back-and-forths with their patients must make the effort to exchange social media information during encounters with patients. This way the line of communication will be established, making it easier for both parties to reach out when necessary.
Sharing Infographics and Other General Health Information
On certain social media platforms, one has the ability to share posts that can consist of text and images. For nurses, this offers the ability to share pertinent information about health such as infographics and other important information. These can be posts about topics like what foods to avoid when one is pregnant or how consistent exercise can promote good health and benefit one’s immune system.
While medical professionals used to rely on infographics hastily taped to walls in doctor’s offices, the adoption of social media has allowed this information to be disseminated more frequently and on a wider scale. As it pertains to nurses, being able to share this type of information with others on social media can be impactful because it comes from a trusted source.
If a nurse wanted to, they could make social media accounts specifically for the sake of having a relationship with patients, thereby having a distinct and different account for personal use. This would allow nurses to share information with all of their patients whenever they make a post. As such, disseminating health-related information in this way can be an impactful and beneficial practice for nurses when it comes to communicating with their patients.
Building Deeper Relationships
When it comes to a professional career in the field of medicine, many people enter the field as a way to fulfill the desire of wanting to help individuals and create meaningful relationships. For nurses intent on crafting these deep and lasting relationships with their patients, social media is the perfect tool to take advantage of.
Social media allows nurses to interact with their patients in a way that is more akin to the way that they interact with their friends. Interacting with patients in this way strips away some of the artifices of typical patient-nurse interactions, creating a riper foundation for meaningful relationships to blossom.
For nurses intent on utilizing social media in this way, it’s important to establish with patients the reasons behind this form of communication. As such, when seeing patients in person, it’s important for nurses to explain to them the fact that they intend to have an ongoing dialogue in order to bolster the nurse-patient relationship and make it stronger.
Providing Guidance to Caregivers
For many individuals, it’s necessary to have a caregiver who helps to treat and care for them outside of medical facilities. While caregivers may have some specialized knowledge in how to care for individuals, they may have questions about the unique type of care that their clients need. Through the utilization of social media, caregivers now have the opportunity to reach out directly to nurses familiar with these patients and ask questions about care and treatments.
Though nurses aren’t communicating directly with patients in these scenarios, their input can have a significant and positive impact on their patient’s health and well-being. Examples of guidance that nurses can provide to caregivers through social media include verifying proper medication dosages and assessing how serious newly developed symptoms are. Accordingly, taking advantage of social media provides nurses with the opportunity to further insure positive health outcomes for their patients even when they’re not directly under their care.
Taking Advantage of Social Media to Communicate More Effectively
For nurses, it can be important to interact with patients beyond the confines of a short interaction in a doctor’s office. Social media has presented itself as the perfect tool for doing so and can allow nurses to communicate with their patients more effectively.
Whether it’s having a consistent line of communication, sharing important health-related information, or building stronger relationships, social media allows nurses to communicate in a more impactful way with their patients. This being the case, nurses looking for new ways to communicate with their patients should take advantage of social media and all of the benefits that it has to offer them and their patients.
About the Author
Ryan Ayers is a researcher and consultant within multiple industries including information technology, blockchain and business development. Always up for a challenge, Ayers enjoys working with startups as well as Fortune 500 companies. When not at work, Ayers loves reading science fiction novels and watching the LA Clippers.