About One DNP

I earned my "terminal practice" degree in nursing from the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in a journey of excitement and challenge. It inspired me to advocate for an all encompassing clinical credential rather than continuing the hodgepodge of nonsensical initials. I hope these entries will provide entertainment and insight into the Doctor of Nursing Practice experience, which will soon be the entry standard for all advanced practice nurses.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Trouble With Interdisciplinary Studies: Everybody

For those of you contemplating your capstone projects, take heed of the following.

Although social networking is all the rage in health care, I knew when my provider-focused capstone involved a range of mental health disciplines I would have trouble finding a home for it.  The vast majority of responders were nurses, which makes it unsuitable to publish in psychiatry, psychology or social work journals. Not all of the responders were nurses so the nursing journals passed as well.  Many of the social networking journals have gone under, and most of the interdisciplinary ones either make you pay to get published or require you have an MD, PsyD, or LCSW as the primary author. One reviewer mentioned this would be more appropriate for inpatient psych nursing journals, despite the fact most of the responders wee coming from community-based clinics.  In retrospect, I can think of a number of SN topics that would have "sold" better that were patient, disorder, or single-issue focused. I took a risk, it didn't pan out.

While my ego is nursing the bruise of rejection, I have to remind myself that time not only money, it is time. Rather than continue to edit and rework the article to meet the broad ranges of journal editors' criteria for zero-cents-per-word, I am going to do the unthinkable: Share the results on the Internet. This is probably scholarly publication suicide, but suck-it-dry, it is more important to share the findings than wait for the research to go obsolete. This is the PDF proof from one of my submissions:
Social Networking and Mental Health Providers: Practice Trends and Perspectives to Shape Interdisciplinary Guidelines 

Background: Social networking activity and media development in health care are advancing rapidly and without a firm understanding of implication for use among mental health providers. Social networking is used to provide education, foster advocacy, promote the profession, and influence policy, but with potential to violate therapeutic boundaries, infringe upon privacy, create liability, and damage professional credibility.  

Objective: This survey was designed to examine current social networking practice trends and perspectives from psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists. Determining how mental health providers engage in social networking activity and their viewpoints on best practice offers a basis for recommending interdisciplinary guidelines.  

Design: A 20-question online survey was used to gather data from mental health providers recruited through professional member forums, e-mail distribution lists, and social media.  

Results: Key findings demonstrate an extensive use of social networking sites on personal devices for research, continuing education, and peer collaboration; a need to restrict patient communication and access to a provider’s social network; and a desire for specific guidelines to promote prudent, resourceful use of social media that complies with ethical codes, promotes professionalism, and maintains work-life boundaries.  

Conclusions: Results demonstrate the increasing use and evolving nature of social networking requires that clinicians maintain situational awareness of media platforms and technology and a need for further analysis, education, and collaboration to develop a comprehensive consensus model for social networking behavior.

The article is 60 pages with much of it taken up with figures and graphs. If you want to cut to the chase, these are the the proposed guidelines beginning on page 21:

Proposed Guidelines  
The following are proposed key components for foundational interdisciplinary guidelines that each of the professions could expand upon according to their own licensing and regulation requirements.  
  • To protect the therapeutic alliance, maintain confidentiality, and prevent dual relationships, providers should refrain from connecting with current patients on their personal social networks.
  • To comply with federal regulations, providers should not initiate communication or interact with patients on social networks to discuss health-protected information. 
  • Professional profile pages should include a purpose and disclaimer statement with parameters for use on each site (Appendix B). 
  • Office or organizational social networking policies should be included as part of informed consent, and discussed with patients as they are updated (Appendix C). 
  • To demonstrate respect and trust for the patient, providers should refrain from searching for patient information online unless expressly requested by the patient during formal treatment time.

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