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From staff nurse to nurse consultant: Survival Guide part 12: Surviving social media

28 May 2020
Volume 29 · Issue 10


John Fowler, Educational Consultant, explores how to survive your nursing career

A young graduate was working as a teaching assistant in a school with the aim of gaining experience before applying for a teacher training course. A keen social network user, he had a few different accounts and maintained what might be described as a teenage approach to his postings. He was popular with the students and commanded respect from them, and supported the teachers in a positive way.

After a few months he was called to the head teacher's office and challenged about some of the unprofessional postings on social media. As a new, unqualified teaching assistant he had little understanding of the broadness of professional behaviour expected in the teaching profession, specifically the standards expected of him on social media. His teaching career was over before it had even begun.

I am using this example, not to justify his actions in any way, but to demonstrate the professional and moral transitions required of some people, particularly the young and possibly naive, as they grapple with managing the huge benefits of social media with the realities of using it safely and responsibly. It also shows the devastating impact that misuse of social media can have on future careers.

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