In the world of the 21st century, we increasingly rely on technology to support our everyday lives. This may involve a face time call to stay in contact with family & friends, using a banking app to pay bills, shopping online and/or keeping up to date with the latest information. Whatever the motive, we should be getting some kind of VALUE from social media.

Before we get into the groups and communities available for allied health professionals on social media (specifically Facebook), I’d like to set the scene a bit for you about the benefits of social media as a learning forum.

The internet and rapid exchange of information has revolutionized communication to the extent that we can communicate with colleagues anywhere at any time using social media platforms. This enables us to share knowledge in a valuable, engaging, and enjoyable way and thus learn with and from other people. It is often said that learning is a social activity, and this is true within social media, particularly given support and challenge from others who face similar problems in similar or different settings can serve to stimulate our own personal review process (Edmonstone, 2018). Therefore, this virtual environment can assist ALL allied health professionals (particularly students, new graduates and/or rural and remote allied health professionals) with professional networking, health communication & knowledge sharing, and, evidence-informed practice.

To build on this, a systematic review by Moorhead et al., (2013) identified six overarching benefits of social media for health professionals which are as follows: (1) increased interactions with others, (2) more available, shared, and tailored information, (3) increased accessibility and widening access to health information, (4) peer/social/emotional support, (5) public health surveillance, and (6) potential to influence health policy. While these benefits are phenomenal and help explain why social media groups and communities are so prolific, the authors caution that the information exchanged needs to be monitored for quality and reliability, and the users’ confidentiality and privacy need to be maintained (Moorhead et al., 2013).

With that established, let’s move on to a list of Facebook groups and communities you can join to ensure you are feeling supported, have access to recent evidence and networking opportunities.

 

NB: listed in no particular order & worldwide groups may be included

 

Multidisciplinary groups:

  • Geriatric OT, PT, and SLP Collaborative Group
  • ST’s, PT’s , OT’s, DT’s and Audio’s!
  • Home Health SLP OT and PT Collaboration Group
  • Paediatric PT, OT, SLP Telehealth
  • Growth Rx

OTs:

  • Occupational Therapy Treatment Ideas & Information
  • Occupational Therapy International Research Network
  • Confidence In Kids Occupational Therapy
  • NatureOTs – connect and grow
  • MH4OT
  • School Based OT Resource Page
  • NDIS OT Providers
  • Occupational Therapy Community
  • Paediatric OT Special Interest Group (Brisbane & beyond)
  • Telehealth OT
  • The My OT Spot Community

Physio:

  • Australian Physiotherapy Neurology Group
  • Global Pelvic Physio
  • APA Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy Australia
  • PhysioConcepts Education
  • Telehealth Physical Therapy Providers (PT – Physio)

Podiatry

  • Podiatry Australia
  • Podiatry – Bridge The Gap
  • Podiatry Boards
  • Podiatry Paeds Group
  • UK Podiatry

Social work:

  • Social Work
  • Queensland Social Workers
  • Social Work Wise

Psychology:

  • Psychology @PsychologyMags
  • Psychological Facts
  • School Psychology

SLP:

  • DARE Speech Pathology
  • Speech Pathology Australia
  • The SLP Revolution
  • SLPs for Evidence Based Practice
  • AAC for the SLP
  • SLP Materials & Resources
  • Pediatric SLPs
  • Medical SLP Forum
  • SLP Telepractice Collaboration

Nursing:

  • Australian Nurse Diary
  • Nurselifern
  • Australian Nursing – The Nurse Break
  • You are Not alone! Nurses helping nurses
  • TheNursePath

Dietetics

  • Build Up Dietitians – Clinical Dietetics Group
  • The Future of Dietetics: RD & DTR Union Station
  • Clinical Nutrition
  • Dietitians for Change
  • Build Up Dietitians – Jobs and Career Advice
  • Dietitians / Nutritionist in Clinical Practice
  • Registered Dietitians and Future RD’s Community

 

References:

Edmonstone, J. (2018). Action learning in health, social and community care. Boca Raton FL: Taylor & Francis. Chapter 1. “What is action learning and what is it for?”

Moorhead SA, Hazlett DE, Harrison L, Carroll JK, Irwin A, Hoving C. (2013). A New Dimension of Health Care: Systematic Review of the Uses, Benefits, and Limitations of Social Media for Health Communication. J Med Internet Res, 15(4):e85

 

 

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