Monday, January 14, 2013

Book Review: "Social Media for Nurses"

Social media and the growth of the internet are more crucial to healthcare and the nursing profession than ever. The new book, "Social Media for Nurses: Educating Practitioners and Patients in a Networked World", is the perfect guide for nurses, nursing students and healthcare professionals who want to be well-informed on the ways that social media continues to change the healthcare landscape, and will continue to do so for years to come.

Authors Ramona Nelson, Irene Joos and Debra M. Wolf have created a valuable (and perhaps prescient) instrument with which nurses can educate themselves, and thus educate their patients. The authors obviously conducted exhaustive research in the writing of this collaborative project, and any nurse interested in social media and the intersection of healthcare and information technology would be highly advised to add "Social Media for Nurses" to their shopping list.

According to Ramona Nelson, “today’s professional must move beyond computer and information literacy to digital literacy, and this book is written with that goal in mind." She adds, “if you believe nurses need to have good communication skills in all settings and be advocates for quality health care, then you need to be sure they are fully prepared to function as professional nurses in the online community of social media."

From telehealth, electronic medical records and a review of computer configurations and devices to Web 2.0 health applications, popular social media sites, health-related social media and the potential future of applications of Web 3.0 and 4.0, the authors walk the reader through the world of information technology and social media as it relates to healthcare in general, and nursing in particular.

Beyond social media, the authors review the uses of digital video and other technologies to increase patient independence and medical providers' ability to monitor patients over long distances. Thus, telehealth, telenursing and other "tele-" functions are described in terms of their past uses, present-day realities, and potential future enhancements.

Further guidance is offered to the reader through exercises that suggest ways for the nursing professional to acquaint him- or herself with various technologies and practices, such as creating a blog or podcast, assessing one's own knowledge of social media, and examining companies who provide, create or maintain popular social media sites or information technology software. These exercises could be particularly useful for nursing professors providing education for new nurses on the intersection of nursing and technology, and I urge nursing schools to seriously consider utilizing this book as an important teaching text.

From my personal use of social media, blogging and information technology, as well as our first successful year on RN.FM Radio, I'm convinced of the importance of technology in relation to healthcare, and there is no doubt in my mind that its importance will only grow exponentially, despite some concerns that we may all share regarding the potential for dehumanization and loss of interpersonal connection if technology is allowed to supercede face-to-face interaction.

Due to my experiences of social media and information technology vis-a-vis healthcare and nursing, I see "Social Media for Nurses" as an important guide for nurses and nursing students desiring increased knowledge about this increasingly intrinsic aspect of our culture, society, healthcare system and global economy.

--------

On Monday, January 14th, the three authors of "Social Media for Nurses" were our guests on RN.FM Radio. The archived show is available at any time on Blog Talk Radio or iTunes. Interested readers can also access an enlightening podcast with the authors, recently made available by Springer Publishing.

Note that I received no remuneration for this review from the authors or the publishers, however I did receive a review copy of the book in order to expedite the writing of this post.

Post a Comment