Mumsy Mondays – The Social Media Savvy Student

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Hello My Lovelies!

Welcome to The Travelling Midwife. This our first blog on the website and I am really excited to share it with you. Clare is the blogger/creator, midwife and mummy behind Mumsy Midwife – if you haven’t been there already check out all the links at the end. Clare is going to be writing every other Monday for Mumsy Mondays!

We start of this Mumsy Monday with ‘ The Social Media Savvy Student Midwife’ to you all you newbies coming in and starting your course, welcome and congrats! I’m so excited for you all and I hope that you are enjoying the start of your future as a midwife. This is a great read of ways to stay safe and awareness when using social media. You may have heard the horror stories, but in the past girls have been removed from midwifery courses dues inappropriate use of social media, so please be safe and take Mumsy Midwife Clare’s advice!

I hope you enjoy! Don’t forget to comment and share with your fellow midwifery students!

The Social Media Savvy Student Midwife

When you begin your training as a student midwife, you’re bound to be excited, nervous and proud to be where you are. After all most Universities are interviewing upwards of 1000 people for usually a very modest amount of places. This is completely uncharted territory and you have no idea what the next 3 years have in store (if you’re on the shortened course, you’ll have a bit more of an inkling). But one thing you MUST learn before you get to the practise bit, is social media.

The majority of us have a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, some may have a Snapchat too. But now that you are on a professional course, you need to have a bit of a different outlook on how you approach your social media accounts. Your professional persona is also shaped by your social media persona. Here are a few tips to get you on the right track.

1. Privacy settings

Make sure your privacy settings are set to the highest level, make your Instagram private and lock down on who can see your Facebook pictures. This is because you don’t want your personal life to bleed into your newly professional life. There is nothing wrong with having a few drunk pictures dotted here and there, but you don’t want patients finding them or future potential employers. If you have any more risqué pics, delete them. Part of the NMC qualification statement is that you are of “good health and good character” and the above can compromise the image of good character, if you are not careful. 

2. Confidentiality

Now this is a biggie. I have had many a student and colleague fall in to this trap. It’s so easy to get swept up with the love of the job and inadvertently put yourself at risk. Even saying something as plain as “I delivered a baby today” can be classed as breaking confidentiality, so keep a clear separation between work and your social media. Also don’t put on Facebook which hospital you’re working at, there have been cases where patients have tracked down staff and asked them medical questions on Facebook, and unfortunately, the midwives/STMs have replied (a massive no-no). So many blasé comments have been posted on Facebook, just intending to share the excitement that being a student midwife or midwife brings that have gotten them into hot water with the course director or management. It’s ok to be proud, just be careful with how you gush about it. 

3. Think about the past

Have a little think to your younger days and when you weren’t so experienced in social media. Have you made any embarrassing errors? Back in the days of Myspace (God, I know how old do I sound?) there was plenty of room to make juvenile boo-boos, things that you look back on now and cringe. Think about it, have you made any? Maybe you’ve got some very old pictures on Facebook or you have an old Myspace account that is so completely 2005. Go back and delete them, review your accounts from years ago as blunders like revealing pictures or a nasty rant can come back to bite you on the bum. Google your name and see what comes up in the search results, you may find some surprises. 

4. Read your policies and guidelines

In with your course information there will be a stipulation on social media and also your linked hospital(s) will have their own policies and guidelines. Review these so you know where you stand, ignorance isn’t innocence so not knowing whats written isn’t worthy to get you out of hot water. They are usually very clear and give you a firm footing for using social media as a STM/midwife. 

Don’t be scared about social media, there are lots of intricacies that you may not have thought of, but it doesn’t mean you should become a Facebook hermit. Just think about what you’re writing and say to yourself, “Would I be happy to say this to my boss?”. If the answer is yes, go ahead, if not I would think about keeping it to yourself. Enjoy your training and share your achievements with each other, go and have fun and be a student, this is a very special time you will always look back on fondly of, this is the start of your new life!

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