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Using Twitter to Your Advantage Professionally

Created in 2006, Twitter became a new form of social media. I joined, but wasn’t very active. If someone were to have told me that tweeting would be a way for me to stay up to date in my field of pediatric cardiology, to network with people professionally and to share in experience with a community of physicians, I probably would have laughed.

Fast forward to November of 2019 and I am sitting in my first conference as an AHA Early Career Blogger, busy “live tweeting” updates, “hash-tagging” and connecting, hoping I could help spread the work and engage the audience that couldn’t travel or make their way to the sessions. I also found myself searching the #AHA19 hashtag for information on other things going on at the conference or programs I may have missed. This allowed me to learn from the many different coinciding lectures without being in several places at once.

So why should you get on Twitter if you aren’t already?

  1. Twitter can be a great opportunity for you to learn from conferences you cannot attend in person, or parts of conferences you may miss. One of the best ways to get involved in this is following the society’s twitter page, such as @AHAmeetings and @AHAscience, this is often the source of the conference “hashtag” with updates on when, who and how to follow and when other conferences are coming. Your “twitter community” can also be a good source for these.
  2. Twitter is a great way to get to know people and science in your field. Finding your twitter community can take some searching, but it’s pretty easy. For example, there is #cardiotwitter, #medtwitter, #tweetiatricians, and more! Just do a simple search with key words and start looking for people, topics and hashtags to follow.
  3. Twitter is a great opportunity to discuss challenging or interesting cases (with patient permission of course) with a world of minds at your fingertips; providing an area to connect with healthcare providers at other institutions to share ideas and collaborate. You can use your community’s hashtag to help engage them and so it’s easily searchable. Twitter also allows you to create polls to ask questions.
  4. Twitter can provide a community of people who understand the stress, demands and struggles we deal with as physicians. Communities such as #SoMe and #womeninmedicine often post about what it’s like to be a physician and provide helpful “tweetorials” or online discussion on topics from medicine to wellness.
  5. Twitter provides a way to connect with the community, to advocate and to explore; there are more than just physicians on twitter and a world of opportunities to explore. Plus, some people on social media can be quite entertaining. Make sure to spice up your twitter with other things that interest you outside of medicine likes sports, news and entertainment!

 

Is there a downside to Twitter? As with any technology and social media, it can be addicting; if you post an opinion you may be met with resistance or a crowd of people who disagree; and some may simply find Twitter isn’t for them. But overall, the community, the learning and the networking opportunities to me, outweigh the downsides, and like all things, use in moderation is key.

 

 

The views, opinions and positions expressed within this blog are those of the author(s) alone and do not represent those of the American Heart Association. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them. The Early Career Voice blog is not intended to provide medical advice or treatment. Only your healthcare provider can provide that. The American Heart Association recommends that you consult your healthcare provider regarding your personal health matters. If you think you are having a heart attack, stroke or another emergency, please call 911 immediately.

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Engaging the Youth with Technology in CPR Education

You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who would counter the argument that education in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is very important; you would also struggle to find anyone in the healthcare field who would not counter you if you said you said you found the experience of becoming certified and re-certified exhilarating or “fun.”

Every year the AHA Resuscitation Symposium gathers minds from around the world, researchers dedicated to the advancement and promotion of advances related to CPR and traumatic injury. The areas of interest are vast, exciting, and enough to span two full days, arguably more, bringing people from all specialties and careers. It includes up and coming updates on intra-arrest monitoring, outcomes and also research in education and retention of CPR training.

One of the constant battles in training is getting CPR education taught in schools; fraught with barriers such as cost and time, and despite mandated legislation, not always successfully implemented (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Training in Schools Following 8 Years of Mandating Legislation in Denmark: A Nationwide Survey)1. So what can we do to change this?

 

Make CPR training fun.

New areas of research and technology promise more realistic training; in exchange this can be more engaging. David Sarno and Dr. David Axelrod, a pediatric cardiologist at Stanford, are founders of Lighthaus Inc,2 who with the AHA, have developed VR (Virtual reality) CPR; the simulation takes VR equipment and recreates a real cardiac arrest victim, showing not only a more realistic interaction but demonstrating substantial improvement in students learning and reported more engaging and realistic learning.3

 

Use our youth to Teach CPR and teach them young.

Healthcare workers are not the only ones who can learn or teach CPR, this is not news; but how young is too young? Previous studies in Italy4 have shown success and understanding as early as primary school.

Children bring a level of excitement and offer a great module for not only testing new technology, but creating new technology. Eashan Biswa, son of UC Riverside cardiologist, Dr. Mimi Biswa, demonstrated this as a 6th grade science fair project. With support of  UC Riverside medical center and school district have they showed success teaching as young as 5th grade students CPR. They used traditional videos but also a video game developed by Eashan. They also demonstrated success in children retaining this knowledge and teaching their parents and community. You can read more about their story here: Kids as young as 12 should learn CPR.5

 

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.

Repetition is important in CPR, as any skill, if you don’t use it you lose it. Virtual reality and early education offer great opportunities for retention and repetition and show an exciting step in the future of CPR education and learning, particularly in young kids and with opportunities for schools.

The future is bright; in order to continue to advance education of CPR we have to be creative, engage young minds, maybe even younger than previously thought, and work with new technology with the ultimate goal of continuing to spread knowledge to save lives.

 

References

  1. Malta Hansen C, Zinckernagel L, Ersbøll AK, et al. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Training in Schools Following 8 Years of Mandating Legislation in Denmark: A Nationwide Survey. J Am Heart Assoc. 2017;6(3):e004128. Published 2017 Mar 14.
  2. (2019). Lighthaus. [online] Available at: https://www.lighthaus.us [Accessed 17 Nov. 2019].
  3. Gent L, Sarna D, Coppock K, Axelrod D. Successful Virtual Reality Cardiopulmonary Training in Schools: Digitally Linking a Physical Manikin to a Virtual Lifesaving Scenario. Circulation 2019 Nov 11. 2019;140(A396)
  4. Beeston, A. (2019). Kids as young as 12 should learn CPR. [online] Essential Kids. Available at: http://www.essentialkids.com.au/news/current-affairs/kids-as-young-as-12-should-learn-cpr-20171113-gzk2el [Accessed 17 Nov. 2019].
  5. Calicchia S, Cangiano G, Capanna S, De Rosa M, Papaleo B. Teaching Life-Saving Manoeuvres in Primary School. Biomed Res Int. 2016;2016:2647235.

 

The views, opinions and positions expressed within this blog are those of the author(s) alone and do not represent those of the American Heart Association. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them. The Early Career Voice blog is not intended to provide medical advice or treatment. Only your healthcare provider can provide that. The American Heart Association recommends that you consult your healthcare provider regarding your personal health matters. If you think you are having a heart attack, stroke or another emergency, please call 911 immediately.