Keeping Up with the “Literature,” Part 3

In the previous 2 posts, we’ve talked about how to keep up with the critical care literature. Eddy Joe Gutierrez shared his process and I started to make my case for using social media/podcasts/blog etc. as a tool for this process. I think the fact that you’re reading a blog (and likely following this blog on Twitter as well) means that you’re on board with the idea of this type of media as education and hopefully you can see how it’s helpful in keeping up with the newest info and research.

In this post, I’m going to give you some practical tips for managing the non-traditional literature, because although it can be very helpful, there is so much out there that it can easily become overwhelming as well! The good news is, there is already some baked-in benefits that we can take advantage of to help organize and manage things.

Social Media

Let’s start here. Twitter and Instagram are my two major sources of social media, at least for this sort of thing (I have a personal Facebook page but I use it almost exclusively to stay connected with friends and family). The first thing to do in order to make use of Twitter for keeping up with the latest in critical care is to start following a diverse group of people and organizations. Most professional societies and journals have Twitter accounts. In addition, there are a lot of great podcasts and websites that provide critical care education and you may be using already who are also on Twitter. Finally, there are a number of great accounts out there who are just “regular” critical care providers who are passionate about this sort of thing and will share articles of interest. This is why I recommend following a variety of different people, in order to get a wide range of interests represented.

To make this easier, you can use the lists function of Twitter. You can use this to create curated lists of a specific topic. You give the list a name and then add Twitter accounts to that list. The list won’t necessarily be limited to that topic, it will include anything by the people you add to that list. But, it can help to organize things. Additionally, you can follow other users lists. So, if you see someone who tweets about a topic that you’re interested in, and they have a list of that topic, you can follow their list. Whenever you’re interested in reading about that particular topic, you can pull up the list (yours or someone else’s that you’re following).

I’m newer to Instagram, so I don’t have any great tips for organizing the stream there. If anyone knows, please let me know (best way is to post on Twitter @CritCareNotes). But, Instagram is quickly becoming one of my favorite sources due to the visual nature of the medium. Photos and videos are so helpful for learning and keeping up with the latest and greatest. People have told me that Tik Tok is becoming a great source of short videos as well, but I haven’t made the jump there just yet.

I’m going to break this up here. I’ll cover my approach to podcasts and blogs in the next post.

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