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:
- 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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:
- EP: 65 – What are the Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease? Part I: Symptoms of Early- and Late-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease
- EP: 66 – What are the Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease? Part II: Symptoms of Late- and End-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease
- EP: 64 – Alzheimer’s Disease and Living Alone: Four Signs Someone May Not Be Safe at Home Alone
- EP: 63 – Alzheimer’s Disease and Driving: Five Signs That It’s Time to Take the Keys
- EP 38: Ten Tips for Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease
I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (‘96) and Master of Science in Nursing (‘00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I truly enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults. I worked full-time for five years as FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home and office visits) then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON as a lecturer.
I obtained my PhD in Nursing and a post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing (2011) ) and then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the faculty at George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor where I am also the Director of the GW Center for Aging, Health and Humanities.
Find out more about her work HERE.