Twitter chats can provide valuable opportunities for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and a chance to engage with your profession, colleagues and regulatory bodies. It has become the ‘go to’ tool for social learning and sharing and can help you keep up to date with all the goings on within the profession.
Hashtags are a great way to follow events or campaigns
With busy schedules and lack of resources it can be difficult to attend all the courses and conferences we would like to, however Twitter can help to keep us in the loop! Just like the #OTalk hashtag, many events or organisations have their own as a way to curate information. For example, if you weren’t able make it to RCOTs annual conference you can still share in some of the learning on offer through the use of #COT2017. Others include #WorldMentalHealthDay #ValueofOT #LivenotExist and #OTWeek2017.
New to Social Media? (SoMe)
If you are new to social media it can seem overwhelming at first, however, it does become easier with practice. the OTalk team and the occupational therapy online community are always on hand to offer support and advice. It is ok to lurk! If you are not ready to engage in a chat, feel free to observe what is going on and have a look around at different profiles, but it’s always nice to say hello, even if you don’t plan on participating.
Making the most of it
Did you learn about a new intervention? Did someone share a poster that is relevant to your practice? Or perhaps there is a new piece of research or guidance that may impact your practice? Whatever it is, you might find writing a summary or completing a reflective log as a useful tool for mapping your engagement and evidencing your learning. This can also be a useful resource to take back to your team or service to promote discussion.
To support the community in evidencing their engagement in OTalk, the team have devised their own reflective log which you might like to use.
Reflective log for hosts I hosted an OTalk reflective Log
Reflective log for participants I joined in an OTalk reflective Log
Online safety and professionalism
Twitter is an open platform, if you have a public profile please remember that everything you tweet or share will be put into the public domain. If you wish your interactions to remain private you may wish to consider a private profile or use a different name. Professional codes of conduct and ethics apply online as they do in practice, therefore please stop and consider data protection and confidentiality before posting. There is a delete button, however this does not always guarantee removal and your posts may be visible via other platforms, we advise a ‘think first, tweet later’ approach.
Most organisations will have their own social media guidance and we recommend you speak to your employer if you have any concerns. The RCOT and HCPC also have social media guidance which can be found below.