Led by members of the #OTalk team – Rachel Booth, Kirstie Hughes, Kelly Murray and Helen Rushton.
- To explore how to use Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook social media platforms for professional means.
- To discuss how to use social media as a therapeutic intervention with service users
We all know that social media is huge – not just with the younger generation but with all generations. Never have we been more connected to each other all over the world or able to gain information in an instance. But do we use it in our professional lives? And if we do, are we using it properly, and in an engaging way that benefits both us for CPD activity and our service users as a therapeutic intervention?
One way in which Occupational Therapists are using social media is for CPD. At 8pm every Tuesday on Twitter #OTalk happens. There is a weekly topic and questions for people to respond and contribute towards. They are all volunteers who run the group chat and their aim is to support the profession and all OTs with their personal development in a free and informal way.
In this Occupation Station session we were given 7 minutes to move around 4 social media tables:
Table 1: Twitter:
How to use it professionally and personally – a quick guide for non-Twitter users.
For those who use Twitter they shared the hashtags they follow for work and play. It’s also the first place to see when new research, publications and initiative get released.
Table 2: Pinterest and Instagram
On this table there was a discussion of how Pinterest can be used for collating ideas for interventions and session as well as using it with service users as a therapeutic intervention. For Instagram it is a photo based social media, a great way of promoting activities in Occupational Therapy or for service users to explore their occupations through photography in a 21st century way.
Table 3: Facebook
Many of use have Facebook for personal use. The key message for this table was to utilise the 4OT Groups (e.g. OT4OT, CPD4OT, MH4OT) for networking and learning and if you wish to use Facebook for promoting professional practice then create a Page. A take home message for Facebook was to check your security settings regularly as the change.
Table 4: Blogs
Blogs are online journals and they can be found on all manner of topics. Many healthcare professionals and Occupational Therapists use them to reflect on clinical practice, discuss and share interventions and log CPD activity- like this conference! But you can also find a variety of blogs from service users, these are valuable for professionals and services users to learn from and have a greater awareness of other people’s experiences. There are a few different platforms in which to write a blog e.g. Blogger and WordPress, and it is a case of have a go and see which you like and suit your style.
As a final note it is important to check your Trusts / workplace policies on use of social media and have a look at the HCPC, RCOT guidance on social media and the dos and don’ts!
Blog written by Catherine Gray, @CupOTservice @CGray_OT