Spreading health messages and experiences of nurses online

Jul 21 2020

Healthcare workers have been in the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Dr Jessica Stokes-Parish is keen to highlight that nurses don’t just do what doctors ask!
Nurses have led the communication during the pandemic, identifying needs and gaps and being a vital set of fresh eyes. Nurses have also been at the epicentre of the tracking and tracing and infection control. They provide advice on how to confirm outbreaks and work largely behind-the-scenes.

Nurses are consistently viewed as one of the most trusted professions, so Jessica has taken advantage of this and is upping her science communication on social media to provide an alternative narrative. Through Twitter, Facebook and, especially Instagram, Jessica sees her role on social media as providing the tools that people need to make their own decisions. Rather than trying to go out and correct all the misinformation that’s out there, Jessica redefines science to give people the best way to find the right information.

We know that people are desperately seeking information, Jessica is there to provide respectful, informed commentary that allows people to come to their own educated conclusions. “I don’t want to tell people what to think, I just want to give them the tools they need.” For example, when social distancing first came in, people were understandably confused, Jessica was able to translate the science into terms that people readily understood.

Jess’s simple and effective videos, including many collaborations with HMRI focus on topics like -  how to correctly wash your hands, how to identify an effective hand sanitiser, and, more recently – how to don and doff a facemask safely!

Listen to her chat with ABC Newcastle's Kia Handley here