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• Educating the complex and dispersed Australian aged care sector is challenging.
• There is potential for the application of web-based social media applications.
• Key stakeholders and senior executives are unconvinced of these programs' merit.
• Acceptance requires addressing the concerns by key stakeholders and senior executives.
SummaryObjectiveParticipatory web-based platforms, including social media, have been recognised as valuable learning tools in healthcare education for over a decade. Use of these platforms is now widespread in tertiary education. It is less widely accepted as a tool for continuing professional education and development at the industry level. This study explores perspectives of senior stakeholders in the nursing home sector to explore perceived benefits, barriers and risks for use in professional education.MethodsQualitative data were collected through semi-structured interviews of ‘high level’ clinical and executive staff from a cross section of nursing home stakeholder organisations. Established printed educational material (PEM) was used as a case study for adaptation to web-based social applications. Questions were designed to gather information about the interviewee's views on the potential to apply PEM to programs such as blogs, Twitter and YouTube to deliver education and aid communication in the sector.ResultsTwelve participants from eleven stakeholder organisations took part in the study. Most participants were cautious about the use of social media programs in continuing professional education. Participants described the benefits (contemporary information, delivered rapidly, varying formats) and barriers (credibility of information, potential misinterpretation, sector demographics, time constraints) to uptake of these programs. The majority of participants preferred formal e-learning programs to web-based social media applications.ConclusionsReservations expressed about the use of social media, such as accuracy, legal and privacy risks to the organisation reflected those previously expressed by the broader medical community.
Journal: Nurse Education Today - Volume 35, Issue 12, December 2015, Pages 1192–1198