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Online Profile Management

Page history last edited by Anita Hamilton 14 years, 2 months ago

Online technology: Friend or foe?

Occupational therapists must continually improve professional knowledge and skills, and this requires the ability to question practice approaches, research alternatives and network with others to learn and change practice.   The capacity for us to network with colleagues both near and far has been enhanced by interactive online technologies.  Online tools including databases, discussion forums, informative blogs, wikis and online communities, enable us to share and generate knowledge from our home or work space (Kashani, Burwash & Hamilton, in press).  


Concerns that some health care professionals have about using online tools for collaboration and networking are centred on confidentiality, professionalism and self-protection (Baerlocher & Detsky, 2008).  We need to be aware of ways to develop a professional online identity and work ethically in the online environment.  It can be costly and time consuming to create unique and well protected online communities for each practice setting, therefore careful and judicious use of mainstream online technologies for professional networking is the most viable option.




Meeting the challenges in online networking


Like most new innovations, online networking has attracted some significant criticism that tends to focus on the public nature of the activity This has generated concerns regarding patient and employer confidentiality, identity theft, and the inadvertent exposure of unprofessional behaviour or activities amongst others.  Fear of these possible negative consequences of engaging in online networking may be preventing some occupational therapists becoming involved in what the authors feel is a fantastic opportunity to engage with occupational therapy peers and experts from all around the world.


As a healthcare practitioner it is, of course, important to consider management of your online profile and image (DiMicco & Millen, 2007) as boundaries between personal and professional lives have become permeable since the advent of Web 2.0.  More clients are choosing to research their therapist and employers are screening potential and current employees using these online forums, and this has promoted much discission in the blogging community.   Sarah Stewart, a midwife in NZ has offerd her thoughts on how this dichotomy can be adressed,  and the following presentation was given by Angela and me at the Scottish Student Occupational Therapy Conference in Scotland, November 2009. 


Quick Links

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The interactive tools currently being used in occupational therapy education and practice.
 View the presentations developed for the WFOT congress workshop.
Meet the developers of this resource! 

Join our group on Facebook and network with others using online technology tools


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