Social media has been key in keeping people connected in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. To stay in touch while practicing social distancing, people are putting social media to use in many creative ways. Nurses have taken advantage of this communication tool in an especially essential way. From advocating for the needs of healthcare workers, to spreading positivity through dance, nurses are using social media in important ways. We’ve gathered some of the most viral posts from nurses to show how they’re putting their social profiles to good use.
Shedding Light on the Nurse Experience
One of the most powerful ways nurses have used social media in these times is to shed light on their experiences working directly with COVID-19 patients. A photo from an Italian nurse was among the first viral posts to show the true toll this pandemic has taken on healthcare workers. Depicting bruises caused by the nurse’s protective mask, the photo showed the deep emotional and physical effects of the stress of coronavirus. Hearing stories of the sacrifice nurses and doctors are making right now is vital in helping the public understand the importance of social distancing, and to make sure they don’t take these heroes for granted.
Advocating for Adequate PPE
As the nation struggles with a shortage of masks and other protective gear, nurses are being forced to work without proper protection. The CDC has even recommended that nurses reuse masks, or use scarves or bandanas instead. Many have taken to social media to speak out against this, rallying around the hashtag #GetMePPE. Healthcare professionals won’t be able to care for patients if they can’t first care for and protect themselves. Capitalizing on the reach of social media, healthcare workers are asking officials to do what needs to be done so they can avoid contracting and spreading the virus.
When the world seems scarier than any time in recent memory, moments that bring levity are especially valuable. Several healthcare professionals are using social media to bring positivity to their units, and the internet. In light of recommendations not to shake hands, a dance trend has emerged on TikTok. A doctor in Portland shared his own take on the Corona Foot Shake. And on the other side of the world, a group of nurses in Malaysia created a music video to teach people proper cough technique to avoid spreading the virus.
Sending Messages to the Public
In addition to cough techniques and hand washing instructions, nurses have also used social media to urge citizens to remain at home. An ER nurse in Kansas penned a Facebook post to share that “the general attitude regarding social distancing and how ‘it won’t stop me from living my life’ is making me absolutely terrified at the battle we healthcare providers are gearing up to face.” In hopes to flatten the curve of growing COVID-19 cases, and avoid overwhelming hospitals beyond their capacity, healthcare workers used TikTok to send out a messaging urging people to stay home. In the video, they hold signs reading “Take care of me and I’ll take care of you.”