Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Going round in circles

I don't know, I just seem to be going round and round in circles and just not getting anywhere.

Mind you, it could be to do with the fact I have a stinking cold and am dosed up to the eye balls with medication.

Maintaining confidentiality
I have been enjoying the discussions that have been sparked by a couple of posts I have written about blogging, clinical practice and confidentiality. On the whole, we all seem to agree that blogging should not be suppressed.

However, there are concerns about divulging patient/women (s) personal details and contravening professional standards of practice. We do not want our students to be doing that in a public arena and getting themselves (and blogging) into trouble. I have suggested that we should only be blogging about births and our clinical experiences only in general terms.

Muzzling students
Lisa suggested that if we try to muzzle students' blogs we are interfering with the process of free speech and they should be able to work out for themselves what is appropriate material to blog about. And Leigh Blackall challenged me to think about how I can work with students in an open environment to manage the 'risk' of blogging, because they're going to do it whether or not we like it.

Angela, who is an occupational therapist in England agrees with Leigh. She has picked up my posts and has led a discussion about confidentiality. One blogger used the thread to get feedback on a post that he had written because he was a little concerned about the level of detail he had included. Angela has written in response to this:

By building a strong and supportive blogging community we can hopefully use each other (as bloggingot has done here) to engage in peer "supervision" of blog posts.

Full circle
So I am back where I started but enjoying the discussions, accepting challenges and increasing my own networks through the conversations we have been having.

This is exactly what blogging is about and why I think it is such a valuable teaching/learning tool for students and midwives, and why it should be encouraged.

Image: Stonehendge Mark Stewart

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