Why Would a Nurse Blog?

December 12, 2008

Sometimes I get asked why should someone blog and what’s the point of blogging, especially if you work in a field like nursing.

Sometimes I get asked why should someone blog and what’s the point of blogging, especially if you work in a field like nursing. They’re good questions, but maybe we need to go a bit deeper than that.

No-one *needs* to blog, or should blog. Blogging has lots of purposes, but there aren’t any “shoulds” that I know of. But what I do know is that blogging—for the right people–is a wonderful way to express how you feel about certain things and reach out to people who may be thinking about the same issues.

Take nursing, for example. Although nursing is a very social profession, it can be quite isolating too, especially in the past. You nursed in a certain location and would learn about new things if new staff came, if your in-service taught it, or if you subscribed to different journals or attended conferences. You may have wondered if you were doing something the right way, but may not have had the resources to find out if there were better ways to do it. Enter the Internet and communication with other nurses. With the Internet, nurses from across the country, across the ocean, and even on the other side of the world, can exchange information and ideas, and learn from each other.

When the Internet became popular with the general public, people exchanged information through usenet and news groups. One of the original chats, like MSN, was called ICQ (say it with an emphasis on the “C” and you’ll see why). As people got more comfortable with the Internet and wanted to have their voices heard, they began to turn to blogging.

Blogs were, at first, just online journals. People would write about what they did, how their families were, stuff like that. Others began to realize just how powerful blogs could be and began developing their little niches, their corners of the Internet world. And the blogging world began to take off.

This week one of my other blogs, Marijke: Nurse Turned Writer hosted a bimonthly blog carnival called Change of Shift. It’s a grouping of nurse-related posts written by nurses or others for nurses. Every two weeks, another nursing-related blog hosts the carnival. Blog carnivals are quite popular because people get to learn about others who are writing in the same field, but writing about different aspects. At the same time, they’re drawing attention to their own blogs, hoping to draw some new readers. My submission for this Change of Shift was my post for this blog, the one on terrorism hitting a little too close to home.

There are other reasons why someone, like a nurse, might like to blog. When I was younger, I wasn’t comfortable working with seniors. Over the years, I matured and—hopefully–became wiser. Now, I not only enjoy working with them, I do my best to advocate for them. For that reason, I began yet another blog, Seniors Support. In that blog, I get to talk about issues that I know are important to seniors and issues that bug me as a nurse.

Take, for example, a post I wrote on using “bibs” on seniors: Maintaining mealtime dignity - no bibs! It’s been a pet peeve of mine for a long time, yet I had no way of talking about it, of sharing my ideas. Now, with this blog I can. And, with this blog, with just this post, I know I made an impact because I’ve received emails thanking me for taking that stand and, particularly, for posting the links to apron patterns. I might not have made as big a difference as a brain surgeon might, but I may have made someone think twice about the issue and maybe, just maybe, there’s one fewer senior who is no longer being humiliated with a bib at meal time. It may seem like a small thing, but to me, it’s important. And that’s why I blog.