Respiratory Care: What a Tweet?
This morning, Sherman Health in Elgin, Ill. simulcast the first surgery ever on Twitter and Facebook. With one twitter-ready computer, a mini HD camera, a mini DV camera, digital SLR, and two iPhones present,. Raja Chatterji, MD and Humberto Lamoutte, MD, performed a total hysterectomy using a high-tech surgical robot. Tweet by tweet, status post by status post, you could read as they cut incisions, inserted an intubator into the uterus, dissected the fallopian tubes and utero-ovarian ligaments, and eventually removed the uterus.
The surgery, the first of its kind, generated plenty of chatter online:
"Wondering if our neurological surgeon client will let us tweet a procedure?!" wrote one twitter user.
"...We wonder about applications for the developing world," wrote another.
"Can't decide: Awesome? Excuse for texting-while-driving jokes? Both?" weighed in a third.
"Who will be the first Wisconsin hospital to follow Sherman Health's lead to cover a live surgery online?" asked a fourth
"Wow, I cnt believe I'm drinkg coffee, answerg e-mail, checking my calendar, & following a robotic surgery complete w pix on twttr," wrote someone else, obviously straining to express her thoughts in Twitter's 140 character limit.
What I wondered is this: If you could live-tweet about respiratory care, what would you say?
So much of what respiratory therapists do seems, at first, wrapped up in the immediate: responding to a code, intubating a patient, performing emergency airway management. Would you have time to stop and explain what you're doing to a captive audience of Twitter users?
But all these minute-to-minute activities combined become stories about convincing an asthmatic patient to stop smoking, or changing the prognosis of a challenging case by weaning a patient from a ventilator. Would you want to chronicle the incremental triumphs that mark your patient's ultimate success?
Or would you write about a high risk delivery? Performing a tracheostomy?
These new social media have many unknown, unexplored applications. Doctors, nurses, and even a few respiratory therapists have already embraced the media as both an outlet and a resource. What does respiratory therapy have to contribute to the conversation?
ADVANCE is online on both Twitter and Facebook.
*View the simulcast of Sherman Health's procedure online at Twitter. Don't worry, you don't have to be a Twitter member to see it.