How to Stay Professional on Social Media

Pete Lonsdale


Students on professional programmes such as Nursing and Midwifery need to ensure that they are professional at all times, including when using social media. However social media is so deeply embedded into everyday life that using it blurs the lines between professional and personal behaviours and contexts. In the School of Nursing and Midwifery we have recently reviewed the sessions we provide for students covering the need to be professional on social media, and in the process we discovered some key discussion points, including:

  • Social Media is not “social media” - any communications tool where a record of thoughts or behaviour is retained can lead to issues
  • Health professionals already use social media to communicate about patients - our students need to be aware of this and how to manage it
  • Working with the general public brings unanticipated pressures and our students need to know how to deal with this

We will present these and other key points from the materials we have developed for use with our students and invite contributions from the room on how we can better support our students with their use of social media and online communication tools. This session will be applicable to all professional programmes, especially those that include placements in the workplace.