This week I had coffee with a third year student from our BSc Adult Nursing. She appeared in my Twitter timeline (the first nursing student from my institution to make contact), I said welcome, she said it’s nice to make contact, and I said let’s have coffee and a chat. Within a couple of days, a time for said coffee was organised and we met in the main café.
A delightful 40 minutes followed where we exchanged stories about nurse education now and 40 years ago, stories about our relative career pathways, stories about what we both wanted to do – one of us at the beginning of a new career, one getting ready to approach the end of one. She talked about how she’d had a difficult experience on one placement, speaking out about poor care and what that had been like. I talked about how those things were always hard, no matter how experienced or confident one became. We parted with a commitment to keep in touch.
Twenty four hours later Sir Robert Francis published his report into whistleblowing in the NHS. I thought of the chat I’d had with the student. I dropped her an email asking if she’d be prepared to write a short piece, a student’s response to the report, that we could put on the Faculty website. She was happy to and promised me something within 48 hours. I thought about it a bit more, rang a contact in the nursing press and asked if they’d be interested in the piece for their online edition. They were. Good news relayed to student. More delight. Twenty four hours later piece sent off. Immediate response from editor saying it was brilliant and they would use it in their print version. Even more delight.
Twitter, tweet up, chat. Connect, encourage, assist. Job done.