This week it was my great pleasure to catch up with fellow Irish man and global citizen, Brian Dolan. A director of Health Service 360, Brian has a career that spans more than 30 years working as a nurse and nursing leader with a background in both acute mental health and emergency nursing.
Hi Brian, I am keen to learn more about the role social media plays in your work. Has it led to any exciting projects?
BD: For some years now I’ve been talking about the last 1,000 days – the time left if you’re an 80-year-old woman whose life expectancy is 83 years or 76-year-old man whose life expectancy is 79 years – and why patient time is the most important currency in healthcare. In July my blog on this topic was published by @FabNHSStuff and curated by the wonderful @PeteGordon68 and @ECISTNetwork. It seems to have taken on a life of its own through twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook and will now the subject of my next book, ‘The Last 1,000 Days’. Thank you social media!
That’s really exciting Brian! So when did you start using social media. What prompted you to get started?
BD: I started using Facebook 7-8 years ago mainly for staying in touch with family and friends, as I work and live in New Zealand and the UK, as well as having extensive travel to Australia. With cousins in California it means I can chat with loved ones up to 19 time zones away!
I think that’s certainly true of many of us – we are led into social media for personal reasons, but then we discover a whole other side to it. Professionally, which platform do you enjoy using the most?
BD: While Facebook has been wonderful for reconnecting with friends and family from childhood and beyond, I really enjoy Twitter as the single best source of Continuing Professional Development I’ve known in my career. I also love that you can create personal connections with so many eclectic, interesting and generous folk – like yourself Marie! – whom one might not otherwise meet.
I agree! Meeting like-minded people has been one of the most rewarding aspects of social media for me too. Which topics interest you? Do you take part in any particular twitter chats?
BD: While unsurprisingly nursing is my main interest, quality and service improvement, all things Irish and PhD research are also places I live on twitter. Time zone constraints mean I don’t get to enjoy as many twitter chats as I would like but I like to catch up via their hashtags.
What advice would you give someone just starting out on social media?
BD: Twitter is not just about Kardashians and the waters of healthcare Twitter are warm, kind and generous, so jump right in. Always be your best self on social media and don’t be tempted to feed the trolls!
Great advice! Finally, would you like to share a favourite quote with us?
No matter how educated, talented, rich or cool you believe you are, how you treat people tells everything. Integrity is everything.
Thanks so much Brian for taking the time to share with us your experience of using social media in your work. It’s been a pleasure to get to know you better through this interview and I look forward to hearing more about your new book when it’s published.
Read: The last 1,000 days: What happens when patient time becomes the most important currency in healthcare #last1000days
Follow Brian on Twitter @BrianwDolan