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SMACC are you going?

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Social-Media-IconsThe 2013 SMACC (Social Media and Critical Care) conference will be held in Sydney from the 11th to the 13th of March. It is the coming together of emergency medicine, critical care and social media. You can check out all the details at smacc.net.au. It is the future. Whether you like it or not. I am a new convert to social media and up until a few years ago avoided all forms of technology based endeavours. My husband handled the home stuff, and my kids helped me out with the TV remote (and I hate to admit it but sometimes still do). However now I make sure they take the time to show me things instead of doing it for me, much to their frustration as it would definitely be quicker for them to just do it for me, but these days I insist.

My foray into the world of blogging, (which started with me reading them on a regular basis) has been a tentative step and one that I have relished as time goes on. There are things I’m planning on doing with my blog in the future and I am interested in new possibilities that arise almost daily, but I find I just need to take my time and work through them, with or without help, but ultimately doing it myself is the only way to learn.

As a student nurse in a hospital training setting 22 years ago we were spoon fed during our lectures, we did not use personal computers and had no on-line resources. I did know how to use a library though. I have always learnt best in a practical setting and by writing stuff out, reading information from a screen doesn’t seem to work for me when required to retain the knowledge. And by the way our lectures went from 8am to 4.30pm monday to friday for the entire “block” which was anywhere from 3 to 6 week stints. Of course during university study later I had a crash course in using a computer for assignments and online research. At the time I was studying I was pregnant with my first child and spent 16 weeks vomiting and extremely unwell and after deferring for 12 months I returned to study with a baby/toddler. During the last semester of my study I gave birth to my second child and attended lectures with him in tow (I was amazed at the anti-discriminating nature of university). So needless to say, I was a little distracted and my heart not completely into mastering the technology required at that stage of my life.

I am sure there must be lots of nurses with similar circumstances. Perhaps of the same age? So for all you whippersnappers out there, who were born into a world where you can’t imagine life without Facebook and wonder how my generation ever kept in touch with our friends, if you see my struggle, be patient, I am trying and so are many others from similar backgrounds. There are others of the same generation who are streets ahead in the technology department and the world of social media, I admire them and I am also so jealous. But for the moment I will just be proud of what I have achieved so far.

I now need to log in and do all this years mandatory competencies in the new online format whilst I’m on holidays. I will not have the opportunity to take the time I need at work and be disruption free. It will take a little while to get my head around it all the first time. And maybe the second time as I will have forgotten how to do it by next year. There is no off-line time given for this at work unfortunately.

So don’t forget to check out smack.net.au and if you’re not already into it, read a few more blogs, follow the ones that interest you, have a look at some online education. Don’t know where to start? Google. Search something that interests you, read and watch, refresh by reading up on something you came across at work today. You will eventually find sites that suit you and you can like and favourite them. What is the one thing you haven’t had the chance to see or do yet? Google it!

I would love to hear about your favourite online resources. I have slowly been increasing the people and journals that I follow on twitter, each one leading to discovering more and more interesting sites. I am connecting with similar people through Linked in and I have a few medical apps, the latest one called “Upshot” which I’m still sussing out at the moment. I have about eight podcasts that I listen to regularly, my favourites are probably the EMCRIT and EMRAP podcasts. If you haven’t already then you should check them out. My favourite nursing blog is currently Impactednurse.com. So please share your favourites in the comment section below, or plug your own!

Stay safe, be happy,

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