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.