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Finding Inspiration and support online

Kathy Whayman 18 Feb 2021

In current times, we have to embrace technology in a way we have not seen before. For teaching and learning there are many exciting things happening where to keep up to date we must use platforms, apps and social media- one area in GI Nursing where this is happening is the development of virtual conferences and forums.

As we enter into another month of lockdown, times are hard. There is no doubt about it, nurses and their colleagues are in the thick of it and there seems little time for fitting in the task of keeping knowledge and skills up to date. For education and research, we are finding new ways all the time for teaching and learning. We see this in many areas of education such as the ubiquitous need for home schooling children, healthcare education, developing the new workforce, and higher education. The advances in technology allows us to connect in a way we have not seen before and recently specialist networks have developed innovative, accessible and exciting ways of disseminating knowledge and information to their membership and beyond. Working and learning online together using various different platforms and social media, can help transform old methods and ways of thinking.

Just recently in GI Nursing we have seen some fantastic opportunities. St Mark's Frontiers Week happened just before Christmas, bringing MDTs together in a virtual world, allowing the audience to register and access sessions online as they wished. The British Society of Gastroenterology have created a very exciting BSG Campus which is running now as I write, and the end of January we had the online conference for Gastrointestinal Nursing. Commentary from experts happens over social media simultaneously (e.g. via twitter). Costs are minimal, and some are even free to access requiring just a registration. As we go into the next few months more and more of these types of National and International virtual sessions will be advertised, where social media platforms will promote them through links and information. At the RCN GI Forum we are committed to doing so through our Facebook, Twitter and Forum Website. This can for many create an instancy of access and opportunity to network.

Learning like this will be a game changer for many. Health care professionals can keep up to date with knowledge and best practice, from the comfort of their own living room (or workplace), where costs for travel, and accommodation are no longer an issue. Sharing practice innovations and catching up can be done with a click of a mouse or a link. Disruption to family life might be lessened and in some cases where sessions are recorded, they can be accessed when convenient. The new challenge now is having the kit (hardware, software, internet connection) to access all this. Creating a good space for digital learning and the age old problem of making time will also be issues we need to consider. Whatever happens though, we have developed so much in this area and online learning (at the very least in a blend with face to face activity when the time comes), is here to stay.
Kathy Whayman

Kathy Whayman

RCN Gastrointestinal Nursing Forum Steering Committee Member and Project Lead

Senior Nurse Lecturer

Kathy is a senior lecturer in adult nursing at the University of Hertfordshire. Her clinical background is in gastrointestinal nursing, and colorectal cancer nursing. She has been in nursing education since 2005, and worked within the Burdett Institute of Gastrointestinal Nursing, establishing education and research programmes for nurses within this specialty. 

Page last updated - 08/02/2022