There’s a lot of misinformation being spread on social media, but the public and even reporters trust health care professionals to give the most accurate information.
Rebecca Darmoc MS

Mona Shattell, PhD, RN, FAAN, is a professor, and Hugh F. and Jeannette G. McKean Endowed Chair and Department Chair at the University of Central Florida College of Nursing in Orlando.  She is also the editor of the Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services. Mona got into social media about 10 or 12 years ago when she did a fellowship with the Op-Ed project. Social media has developed into a valuable resource for knowledge in the healthcare arena. A poll found that 76% of participants used social media “at least a bit” to research COVID-19, but the majority of those respondents (63.6%) indicated they were reluctant to check with a health expert about the accuracy of that information.

Healthcare professionals can use social media to educate the public and contribute to halting the spread of false information while using social media.

Do you want to be on social media but don’t know how to get started?

Tune in to this episode of This Is Getting Old: Moving Towards an Age-Friendly World to learn about Social Media in Healthcare. If you are a health-care professional or a leader in a healthcare organization, this information could help you get started in using social media. In this episode, we are joined by Dr. Mona Shattell, PhD, RN, FAAN and Rebecca Darmoc, MS.

Rebecca Darmoc, MS, is a marketing strategist for a technology consulting company. For about 10 years before that, she was director of marketing and communications for an academic health system in Chicago. She got into social media for her job as a marketing professional. 

✔️ Why Should Healthcare Professionals Use Social Media?

There are so many things healthcare professionals can do on and through social media. For example:

  • Networking 
  • Sharing information with their colleagues.
  • Expanding their practice. 
  • Disseminating research. 
  • Get information out to the public. 

Healthcare professionals are experts in their specialty, and misinformation is spread on social media. The public and even reporters trust healthcare professionals to give the most accurate information. A social media presence is an opportunity for healthcare professionals to go outside of their practice and the walls of their institutions and reach people on an exponential level.

✔️ Tips For Branding Professionally On Social Media

Social media in the healthcare industry may be challenging to navigate.  The first thing to remember is: YOU ARE YOUR BRAND. Use your name when you’re signing up for social media as your username if possible. Using your first and last name helps potential followers to find you. You don’t want to use slang terms or phrases—be as professional as possible. 

Number two is to highlight your expertise. Brag a little by sharing some of the accolades and things you’ve done professionally in your profile. People will know you’re an expert when they can see what you’ve done, and when they can see a few aspects of your professional experience. Furthermore, it’s how people will learn from you and trust what you have to say on social media.

✔️ Three Levels For Joining The Conversation Using Social Media: Consume, Contribute, And Create

It can be overwhelming to start up a new social media platform. Healthcare professionals should think about gaining social media experience as a developmental process. 

First, CONSUME. This step involves just reading and scrolling through a variety of social media platforms. Get comfortable with how to use each one, follow your colleagues, look up people’s names in your specialty area, see what others are doing, and see how (and what) they are posting. Getting used to the platform at this level is the most critical step to beginning your journey. 

Then once you’re comfortable with being a consumer, you can move on to the second level and CONTRIBUTE to the online conversation. When you see something that someone says, you can like it and retweet it (e.g., on Twitter).  When you retweet and add a comment, you are contributing to the conversation. 

The highest level in using social media is to CREATE. This is when you create content from scratch, and begin to move into being a thought leader. Creating means putting your specialized knowledge and expertise out there for your specific audience based on your goals. 

✔️ Where to Find Help With Kickstarting Your Social Media Presence?

Authors, editors, social media influencer, and healthcare professionals, Mona Shattell PhD RN FAAN, Rebecca Darmoc MS, and Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP, FGSA, FAAN, released a book a couple of weeks ago called #SocialMedia and #HealthCare: A Guide to Creating Your Professional Digital Presence. The book is a guide to helping professionals in how to use social media to educate the public and specific patient communities, make connections with industry leaders and peers, and enhance their professional reputation online – and provides a variety of tips and tricks for how to do just that. 

Grab a copy of the book through AMAZON; or through the publisher Slack Incorporated, and receive 20% OFF and FREE SHIPPING of the print book with promo code AU20.

If you have questions, or comments or need help, please feel free to drop a one-minute audio or video clip and email it to me at melissabphd@gmail.com, and I will get back to you by recording an answer to your question. 

More Resources About Memory And Alzheimer’s Disease …

This Is Getting Old has several other episodes about memory and Alzheimer’s. You can check them out below:

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About Melissa:

Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP, FGSA, FAAN. I am a nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse educator and nurse researcher with over 25 years of experience in the aging and long-term care healthcare space. You can visit my website at MelissaBPhD.com to learn more about me, how you can work with me directly,
and/or support future episodes of the podcast. Within the first 18 months of launching this podcast, we reached a ranking of top 10% globally. I have all of you who’ve been with me on this journey so far to thank for that!

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