Back in June, we saw an opportunity to bring together the ambulance and paramedic community of Twitter for a weekly online pow-wow...
#MedChat takes place every Thursday evening at 8pm UK time on Twitter. Each week we host an hour’s chat based around a different topic related to paramedic life and paramedicine. Recent topics have included the adrenaline trial, CPD, legal highs, feedback and reflection, the best clinical apps on the market, paramedicine of the future, burn-out, and ‘stay and play’ versus ‘scoop and run’. We’re always open to topic suggestions from our followers on Twitter.
It’s an informal affair and since the early days, #MedChat has really grown with the support of ambulance professionals from across the UK and the USA, and the @MedTweetsHQ team, which promotes patient confidentiality and the appropriate use of social media in prehospital care.
Anybody can join in by following and using the #MedChat hashtag but as hosts, we do try to maintain a few rules…
- Stay on topic. We’re always present during #MedChat to make sure things don’t go too far off topic and to ask some general questions to keep the conversation flowing, but should you find yourself wanting to engage in a separate conversation, please do so through private messages.
- Spam! If you have a something relevant to share - that’s great - post a link by all means. But continuously posting the same link, links unrelated to the topic, or repeating the same comment over and over will be flagged!
- Be courteous. This should go without saying. If you disagree on something, be polite in how you say so and conduct the conversation like a debate.
- If you arrive late, look through the other posts before chipping in. Just finished your shift? Take a few moments to familiarise yourself with what has already been said. We aim to retweet the best points so our feed is usually a good place to start. This keeps reposts from occurring and keeps the chat moving.
- Respond to people by name. #MedChat moves quickly, and by the time you reply to someone it might not be clear who you were speaking to. Always include their @username at the beginning of any response.
- Always use the hashtag. #MedChat - so everybody involved can see your tweets.
- Make sure your Twitter feed is not private. Your tweets won’t appear on the chat even if you use the hashtag. You need to make all posts public so others not following you can see what you are saying.
When possible we find a sponsor to provide a prize for the best tweet of the evening. Fleeces, jackets, books and hats have all been provided by SP Service, Uniform Express and Medtree in recent weeks. If you or your business would like to get involved, offer a prize and raise your profile then do contact us.
And if you are part of the ambulance community, join us for the next #MedChat and have your say!