Last week we looked back at the origins of ASLTIP and Hilary contemplated moving on in the electronic age. This week we look at social media and the impact on independent speech and language therapists. At our recent local groups’ day, members wondered how twitter was going to be applicable for them, and how it would offer value.
As an association, twitter allows us to network with other SLTs, not just ASLTIP members and not just SLTs in the UK. We are able to follow, and be followed by, SLTs around the world. This gives us a way of letting people know about ASLTIP and also the activity of members. By tweeting about news and events, sharing SLT related news stories and posing questions, we engage with people who may not have otherwise known about us. So what? Well this (ideally) leads to better awareness of ASLTIP and its members.
For members, it offers a way of networking with colleagues and sharing what we are doing. How would we have done this before? It’s likely that in the time before online forums, facebook pages and twitter, that this networking happened at a more local level, or with colleagues that we’d read about or been introduced to by other colleagues. Twitter lets you quickly and easily find other SLTs and hear their ideas and opinions. One of the main hash tags (#) to find relevant discussions and for following SLTs is #slpeeps (clearly the American SLPs got in before us SLTs) and there are regular #slpchats.
Many of the North American based SLPs refer to their twitter colleagues as their Personal Learning Networks, and use twitter as one source of CPD. It does certainly bring courses, articles and approaches to your attention – and you can click through to links to get more details, or browse through the info.
The Health & Care Professionals Council have stated that they recognise social networking sites are a useful way of sharing information with other professionals, though they remind registrants that any information posted is in the public domain and as such members need to ensure that what they are posting online meets the HCPC standards. In particular they draw attention to the following standards of conduct, performance and ethics:
– You must act in the best interests of service users.
– You must respect the confidentiality of service users.
– You must keep high standards of personal conduct.
– You must behave with honesty and integrity and make sure that your behaviour does not damage the public’s confidence in you or your profession
So as we move into this new way of networking and sharing information, we must tread carefully but also recognise the benefits of promoting our profession, our professional identity and ASLTIP online.
For more information on the HCPC guidelines on social media, visit http://www.hpc-uk.org/mediaandevents/socialmedia/
To follow ASLTIP on twitter – look for @ASLTIP_UK
ASLTIP’s membership has been growing rapidly since 1989. We are a support organisation run by our members. The executive board is always grateful for new members and new ideas.Apply for a membership