Effect of Social Media on Nurses and Service Users

Assignment Guide

Assessment 1 is an individualised piece of work aimed at assessing your academic writing skills and social media knowledge in relation to nursing.

Essay Task:

Outline key advantages and risks of using social media in the Nursing profession. Discuss how social media can impact on the nurse/student nurse giving examples. Your discussion should also be supported with references from credible and recent academic sources.

The assignment is required to be submitted in an essay style format which includes ECU cover sheet with ELP, title page, contents page, and end-text reference list. Please see SNM Assignment Writing Guidelines provided under Assignments tab. The essay should be structured with an introduction, body paragraphs outlining main ideas and a conclusion. It is recommended to use headings to organise your essay and these will be reflected in your Table of Contents. * Please note: only paraphrasing is to be used in this essay. There is to be no direct quotes.

Your discussion should be supported with references that are required to be up-to-date (not older than 7 years). A minimum of five references, including at least 3 peer reviewed journal articles, must be used to support your ideas with appropriate citation. The word limit of your essay is 1000 words +/- 20% (200 words). If it is beyond that, penalties will apply. The word limit does not include the cover sheet, title page, contents page, or end-text reference list. In review, your essay will be marked considering several aspects that include the structure, content, presentation and referencing.

Assignment instructions


Correct introduction structure (thesis statement which is clearly written, detailed and specific; must include contextual information such as definitions (if appropriate); identification of potential scope/ limitations of essay)

Content and terminology are accurate

Main body:

Correct paragraph writing structure (one idea per paragraph, effective topic sentence which reflect main idea of paragraph, logical sequence, links and relationships between key points)

Clear connection to the main ideas outlined in introduction Content and terminology are accurate

Strength and relevance of essay’s analysis/ discussion

Well-crafted supporting material / research which elaborates on topic sentence


Correct conclusion structure (restate topic and summarise main points discussed; no new material or references included)

Content and terminology are accurate Writing is clear, concise and coherent

Strong evidence of correct writing practice, including grammatically structured sentences, demonstrating accurate spelling and punctuation


Writing skills:

Correct essay writing structure

Appropriate academic writing style including third person

Only paraphrasing is to be used in this essay. There is to be no direct quotes.

Clarity and coherence of essay’s analysis/ discussion

Appropriate abbreviations and acronyms Writing is clear, concise and coherent

Strong evidence of correct writing practice, including grammatically structured sentences, demonstrating accurate spelling and punctuation


At least 5 academic sources (must include a minimum of 3 journal articles)

Correct in-text referencing per current version of ECU Referencing Guide – APA style (correct format; appropriately placed throughout essay; all in-text references are included in end-text list)

Correct end-text referencing format per current version of ECU Referencing Guide – APA style

Correct end-text reference list format (single spaced, with single line space between each reference; listed alphabetically; includes hanging indent; all references included are also in-text)


Submitted via Turnitin with ECU electronic cover sheet and ELP rubric included

Title page included with name of assignment, student name, student number, unit code and name, date of submission, word count

Page numbers included and start at Introduction

Follows assignment guidelines (double line spacing, size 11 Arial/ size 12 New Roman font, 2.5cm margins; adheres to the word limit +/- 20% margin)

1.      Introduction

Over the years, there have been several alterations within the nursing job due to the increment in workload and technology. Nurses and service users have embedded the use of social media in the healthcare industry. Some of the common platforms include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and YouTube. Blogging is another channel of communication for the caregivers like nurses as well as patients. These platforms can be detrimental to the health care industry or beneficial depending on the manner in which people use them and the purpose (Hawn, 2009). On the other hand, if used in the correct way, social media can simplify the process of healthcare for both the physicians and patients. This paper discusses in depth some of the advantages that accompany the use of online platforms and, later on, illuminate on the possible risks associated with the same. Finally, the analysis will conclude by summarizing all the major points discussed and provide a number of recommendations on the subject. Nurses and service users need to comprehend the knowledge that comes with using social media to avoid risks and capitalize on its benefits.

2.      Advantages of Social Media

Today, social media is a critical aspect of the training of medical health practitioners. During the training, they learn the guidelines for appropriately using social media to help patients and converse with one another.  Communication is essential within the healthcare industry, and it contributes to ensuring the smooth running of the activities. Some of their tasks are also online-based and require a team effort, as such, encouraging them to work together.  Practitioners also learn to socialize with one another (Panahi, Watson, & Partridge, 2014).

Service users also benefit from using social media platforms, particularly as it fastens the recovery process. Patients with mental disorders can blog and tweet about their experiences consequently relieving the feeling of loneliness and the burden of too many thoughts (Panahi, Watson, & Partridge, 2014). They are also able to gain peer support from other service users or friends and family, who help them get through the hard situations. Patients can report on the quality of service that they receive from various health facilities.

Nurses and service users can work together for the organizational promotion of the health center regarding the quality of duty. The online platforms become avenues for acquiring information and conducting fund raising activities to attract more resources for patient treatment (Paton, Bamidis, Eysenbach, Hansen, & Cabrer, 2011). They can also be of use in improving the service through the response to the feedback put in by the patients and their families. It can concern physician deficiency or activities of fraud within the healthcare facility.

Finally, social media has encouraged the improvement in the medical field through professional forums, where doctors and other medical professionals can hold serious discussions about diseases and provide possible treatments. It is essential especially when it comes to solving complex problems that have persisted over the years with no solution. Different ideas are put on the table and through debates, many medical mysteries are solved. Consequently, there is a development of new vaccines and treatment procedures in the medical field…

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