Social Media and It’s Role in Health Care

What is your definition of social media?

I found it to be a difficult task to define exactly what social media is. There are so many different venues that make up what social media is. According to Daniel Nation, n.d., the definition of social media is it is a “social instrument of communication” (Nation, n.d.). I like this definition. I think that it captures just what social media is. Anyone can use social media and there are hundreds of millions of people who do so each day. We use social media when we go to a website such as Facebook or Twitter to communicate with friends. We also are using social media when we go to a site such as to share notes with a colleague or a medical facility’s website for more information.

Social media continues to morph and expand exponentially on a daily basis. It offers us the opportunity to have a conversation with someone we know or with someone we have never met in a foreign country. Social media can also be used to make and share an education presentation with your patient at their convenience. All you need to do is share the link to the presentation with your patient and they can access it prior to seeing you at the next appointment.

How have your thoughts on social media changed since you initially began this course?

The thoughts that I used to have on social media have drastically changed since I began this course. I used to think that the only available social media sites available were Facebook and twitter. I know now that there are many social media sites can be used by nurses and other health care professionals to enhance patient care. I believe that it is amazing a patient can go on-line and perform a search relating to a specific treatment they need or a disease they may have. Your employer or a future employer can also Google you. This could help them to determine whether or not you would be a good fit for the position you have applied for.

Although the numerous social media sites are available for nurses to use, discretion should be used. There are numerous examples readily available of nurses or other health care providers that did not think about their post before they made it public. Once you post something good or bad, it is permanent. Keep in mind that even though you may have your security settings put on friends only for viewing of your posts your friend can copy and / or forward the post to others.

Prior to taking this health informatics course, these were some things that I had not thought about.


How can you use social media in your profession?

As a nurse, social media can be a valuable tool to use. Social media can assist you in improving your practice and care of your patients. There are many sites available for you to use to reach out to others in your profession for their guidance. There are also social media sites provided by different governing bodies (ex- AORN, APIC, CCRN, etc…) that have guidance documents, listservs, and continuing education for nurses.

The key is to use the sites responsibly and interact with others respectfully.


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APIC. (2010). Guide to the elimination of orthopedic surgical site infections. Retrieved from

Nations, D. (n.d.). What is social media? What are social media sites? Retrieved from

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2012, July 19). Hospital compare. Retrieved from

Wood, D. (2012, August 16). Social media: Cautionary tales for nurses. Retrieved from



Osteoarthritis – Webliography




The reason that I chose to blog about this topic is that I am afflicted with this disease. I was diagnosed as having osteoarthritis a few years ago after having a very painful nodule appear on my right thumb. I was resistant when my husband insisted that I go and see my orthopedic physician. Frankly I thought that if I could continue on taking ibuprofen that it would resolve itself. However, after my husband continued with his insistence, I relented and went. They did blood tests, and x-rays. After the physician reviewed those and examined me, he told me that he believed I had early onset osteoarthritis (OA). Naturally I was upset. All I could picture were elderly people that have a deformed stature, and joints that do not bend. He also informed me that the osteophytes I have should remain there for as long as possible before pursuing surgical intervention. His reasoning for this was that the osteophytes will come back even after surgical removal of them. I agree with him. I do not want to have an invasive procedure that will only have to be repeated later on. I continue on the path to educate myself about this disease and up that affect so many others worldwide and the up and coming treatments that those suffering hope will help.

Osteoarthritis is a disease that affects around 27 million people in America. Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition for people who suffer with it. The disease a person’s destroys cartilage that is joints. Cartilage is a natural cushion between bones, so when there is a breakdown of this the bones rub on one another. This can cause great pain.  Those people who suffer from this disease are most often struck with symptoms that can range to soreness or stiffness in their joint(s) to severe pain and reduction in the ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL’s). The disease affects everyone differently. The symptoms that a person experiences are also dependent upon which part of their body the osteoarthritis affects.

I have researched the websites and databases that I have chosen to use and provide links for throughout this blog. They are known and recognized resources, there is contact information, and accreditation. The resources cover a wide array of information that would be helpful for anyone who may have this disease or someone who has a family member or friend with it. With knowledge comes peace of mind and empowerment. I implore you to continue reading this blog with the hope that it may be of assistance to you on your path of knowledge acquisition. Information about the evaluation of webpages can be found using the following links:


Arthritis Foundation

Arthritis Information Page- Osteoarthritis

This resource is on the internet and available to anyone who wishes to learn more about Osteoarthritis. It has many different sections that are easy to navigate. There are summaries in each of these sections that inform the reader what osteoarthritis is, what the effects or symptoms are, who may be afflicted with it and why, treatment options, and different resources that the reader may go to for more information and guidance. The links provided are to research articles, ways to prevent arthritis, Arthritis Today magazine, tips on managing your pain from the disease, and products that people with OA may find helpful.


Mayo Clinic


This site that is provided by Mayo is a reputable site that is utilized by many in the healthcare field. It is utilized by many to research different illnesses and diseases because it is routinely updated, is a recognized resource, and is accredited. Mayo provides information on osteoarthritis that is similar to what I found on the website from the Arthritis Foundation. However, Mayo also had media such as pictures of x-rays, and illustrated images of what a joint looks like with arthritis and after with a prosthesis that the reader can. Mayo also has a tab called “Expert Answers” that are questions that have been posed and then answered by physicians.  There are also 3 slide shows that Mayo has provided. The first link is to “Joint Protection for People with Hand Arthritis.” The second link is to “Hand Exercises for People with Arthritis.” The third link is to “Tips for Choosing and Using Canes.” The links are found below.


National Library of Medicine

Medline Plus


This website is provided by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NIH) National Institutes of Health. The information provided by this website is a comprehensive view of what osteoarthritis is, what type of assistance is available to those that need it, and other resources(such as treatment options) that the reader can utilize in their pursuit to better their lives or the lives of their loved ones. Certainly this site would be a great one for people to visit and browse through. It helps to educate people about osteoarthritis and gives a sense of hope. There are treatments (not cures) out there for this disease; one just needs to know where to go for the information. This website certainly provides it.


National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Pain control medication for people with osteoarthritis

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases is part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health (NIH). This webpage that I went to was comprehensive in the amount and type of information provided. An easy to read list of the different types of pain medication can be found on this site. It states to readers to make sure that they are collaborating with their physician on their choices of pain medication(s). There is an easy to understand warning about NSAIDs for people. It lets them know about the possible dangers associated with them. There also a link to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as their email and phone number. This way if there are questions that people have about the medications they are taking, they can contact the U.S. FDA. The link to the FDA is provided below.


Omni Medical Search

Surgery for those with osteoarthritis

Surgery is an option for those persons who suffer from osteoarthritis. This article discusses when surgery should be considered as an option. Osteoarthritis affects everyone differently. Some people that have this disease are able to control it with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen. Then there are other people who have OA that are not able to control the pain with medication and it restricts their daily activity. It is the people that can no longer control their symptoms and have difficulty with ADLs that should consider having surgery. Surgery albeit seems to be commonplace today should be thoroughly considered by people. It is not a reversible process and there can be unintended complications. Also, there is no guarantee that the surgery (ex. – arthroscopic surgery or joint replacement) will completely alleviate the pain. This article gives great information for someone wondering about surgical options and when it may be right for them to speak with their physician about it. This was found to be a helpful search database in locating information on surgical options and osteoarthritis.


A.D.A.M. (2010, June). In-depth report: Surgery. New York Times. Retrieved from


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

Acupuncture for people with osteoarthritis|CAL|NCD|MEDCAC|TA|MCD&ArticleType=Ed|Key|SAD|FAQ&PolicyType=Both&s=All&CntrctrType=1&KeyWord=health&KeyWordLookUp=Title&KeyWordSearchType=Exact&ICD=525.65&CptHcpcsCode=22222&DateTag=C&bc=AAAAABAAAAAA&

This discusses how CMS wanted a study conducted that compared professional acupuncture to sham acupuncture. This was undertaken by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). It has been surmised that only professional acupuncture would help to alleviate some of the pain suffered by those affected by osteoarthritis. What the study determined is that regardless of whether or not you have someone accurately placing the acupuncture needles or it is someone with no training that just puts them in wherever the person has a reduction of pain. Adverse events associated with acupuncture were also discussed here. This way, the reader could be accurately informed on both the benefits and risks associated with this practice. This website is developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This is an agency that has oversight from our U.S. Government. It is reviewed and updated at regular intervals. There is also contact information provided.

The Power of Patient Stories

The Josie King story makes you think about the all of errors that we as healthcare workers can prevent.

Assessment of vulnerable patients cuts hospital falls

Falls Prevention Horizon Scanning

Source:Nursing Times 25th July 2012

Follow this link for article

Date of publication: July 2012

Publication type: Journal article

In a nutshell: The FallSafe project, tested in the South Central NHS area, trained and supported nurses to look at factors that can lead to falls. It assesses vulnerable patients and measures to reduce risks on wards, and has created FallSafe leads, who are dedicated nurses, to raise awareness and champion falls prevention.

Length of publication: 1 page

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library. This article is available in full text to all NHS staff using Athens, for more information about accessing full text follow this link to find your local NHS Library.

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PATIENT FALLS: Why do hospital patients fall?

American Hospital Association Resource Center Blog

Risk factors for causes of falls in hospital inpatients were studied in this comprehensive literature review.  Here are the risk factors that were identified as being significant in consistently predicting falls risk based on research studies:

  • Instability of gait
  • Weakness of leg(s)
  • Issues related to toileting — incontinence or need for assisted toileting
  • History of previous falls
  • Mental state — agitation or confusion or impaired judgement
  • “Culprit drugs” — especially centrally-acting sedative hypnotics.

The authors also examined the literature about the various falls risk assessment tools, but found little in the way of rigorous validation studies.

Source: Oliver, D., and others.  Risk factors and risk assessment tools for falls in hospital in-patients: a systematic review.  Age and Aging;33:122-130, 2004.  Click here for free full text from publisher:  Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422.2050,

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3 Risks with Managing Pain with Patient-Controlled Analgesia (PCA) Pumps

Safe Practices for Nurse Sick Call

Essentials of Correctional Nursing

A nurse is being deposed by the plaintiff’s attorney about the care provided to a patient while in the county jail.  The patient suffered a bad outcome and is suing the county, the jail physician and the nurse for inadequate care. The attorney asks why the nurse gave an over-the-counter (OTC) medication to the patient who complained of cold symptoms. The nurse’s response is that the protocol for a common cold allows the nurse to use an OTC decongestant. The attorney asks where the nurse got the protocol. The response is that the nurse obtained the protocols while employed at the state prison. The nurse has continued to use them since taking the sole nursing position at the county jail.

This is an actual case and the starting point for this week’s blog post on avoiding risky practices in the use of nursing protocols and sick call. What problems do…

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Easy Ways on How to Become A Healthier Nurse

Something for me to aspire to achieve.

All About The Life of Being a Nurse

Working in a medical facility, a registered nurse is a role model of good health and lifestyle. While most people think that working in a hospital instantly makes one healthy, it is actually far from the truth. Working in a hospital is a physically tiring and draining job.  That’s why, every nurse should make an extra effort to keep themselves healthy.

 Eat Breakfast

Never skip breakfast. Breakfast gives you energy and gets you pumped up at work.  Studies also show that those who skip breakfast tend to overeat during lunch or dinner, causing them to gain unwanted pounds.

Have a Regular Eating Schedule

This may sound difficult, as there are times when you need to work on night shifts but it is essential that your body get a regular eating schedule. Having a regular eating and sleeping pattern allows your body’s internal clock to help you awaken naturally without having…

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I have been staying incredibly busy with the three classes I am taking and work! At this point, I am not sure what in the world I was thinking taking three eight week classes at the SAME TIME! The classes are great, but I do not know if I am coming or going.

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