Why every nurse should be on YouTube

I think it’s pretty safe to say that we all love those teachers who challenge us to see a different side of nursing that we’re not familiar with. The ones that are passionate about what they do (and what we want to do), and help us find ways to utilize the tools and information at our fingertips to help us get one step close to our ultimate goal of become awesome nurses. I have one of these teachers this quarter, and right now, her enthusiasm for nursing is what’s motivating me through the quarter.
So what’s so neat about her class? Well, this is the first time that we’ve really had an instructor utilize the internet as a resource for more than looking up scholarly journal articles. She uses sites like YouTube and refers us to websites to help promote not only our patients’ health, but our own health. She recognizes the incredible resource we all carry in our backpacks everyday, and embraces the thought of utilizing it to promote public health.  We’re using video blogs (vlogs?) by people with chronic illnesses to study illness trajectory, and our major project is to create a health promotion blog for the public. It’s really refreshing to see a teacher so willing to embrace the tools that we have at our fingertips to expand our profession.

Considering such a large part of our country is lacking in health care resources, it only seems natural to try and reach out to the community through virtual technology. Granted, there are sites out there like WEB-MD and others that provide a plethora of medical info to the public, but I think that if we as nurses can extend our care out via web, we would be able to reach so many more clients, and we’d be able to help them through the process of whatever illness or ailment they’re dealing with, or even provide health promotion advice to everyone.  Coping strategies, support from health care providers , and patient education are such vital components to our nursing practice, and we can provide these services virtually anywhere by using this ‘new’ interface of nursing.

Maybe I’m just excited by this health promotion blog project, but I really think it’s a key part of our role as nurses to provide information to the public, and why not reach out through the internet? Are any of you familiar with sites where nurses are reaching out to the public? Nursing students, have any of your instructors created assignments to reach out to the public in this way?

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