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The social media revolution

02 July 2014
13 min read
Volume 22 · Issue 7

Abstract

Social media is the latest evolution in the development of communication pathways and many midwives and students have been advised to avoid its use professionally. The education of midwives about the professional use of social media is inadequate in many areas. As a result, midwives have been slow to use social media platforms to support women and students, and to interact professionally. The regulatory framework which underpins the profession provides clear guidance about the use of social media. This article debates whether these professional regulations have contributed to missed opportunities in revolutionising health care. Suggestions are offered to encourage the professional use of social media to empower women, support and educate students and to offer opportunities for continuing professional development.

Since the introduction of social media, there has been much discussion about its use in professional practice. Within many of the health professions this discussion has been directed towards the personal use of social media and its possible effect on the individual's professional registration. The usefulness of social media within one's professional life has been largely ignored. Much of the advice given by managers and academics, especially to midwives and student midwives, has been alarmist regarding the risk to an individual's professional registration if they fail to abide by the regulatory framework of the profession. Social media, however, is the latest evolution in a series of communication pathways and as such should be judged in the same way as any other form of communication. This article aims to debate the opportunities and risks associated with the use of social media and offer a balanced argument for professional engagement with social media.

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