I went to school to be a physical therapist and still work as a physical therapist. Never did I think I would also be a blogger. I started off just with some basic things for my friends and family and soon was evolving my blog into what I know – physical therapy. I loved the fact that as a pediatric therapist I can write about all the stages of motor development as my baby goes through them. I love that I’m able to document what is going on with my baby and at the same time giving ideas or educating others on aspects of motor development.
What’s surprised me the most about this little blogging adventure is the fact that I have learned so much through social media to improve my practice. If you aren’t familiar with social media and feel overwhelmed by it you can start simple. It’s my goal every Friday for the next several weeks to talk about different forms of social media and how they can enhance your practice as a therapist.
I love Pinterest working as a pediatric physical therapist. Pinterest is packed full of ideas for different treatment options. It’s a great avenue for organizing your thoughts and ideas. You can pull information from all over the internet and put it in one organized place. It’s a simple way of organizing, sharing, and collaborating with others.
To get started you simply need an email address or Facebook account. Next, follow the steps to setup your account. Pinterest will prompt you to create a username and password. Pinterest will guide you through a few simple steps. Pinterest will send an email to your account to confirm you are who you say you are.
Once signed up you need to start creating boards to “pin” too. Different board ideas could include gross motor ideas indoor, research, ipad applications, gross motor ideas outdoor, and informational printouts. Boards can be secret which means nobody sees what you are pinning or they can be public where all your followers will see what you pinned. Other people can look and see who pinned that pin as well.
From there you can add “pins” to your board. There is a search bar in the top left hand corner of Pinterest where you can put anything in that you would like to search for. There is also a box in the top left hand corner of the screen right next to the search bar that gives you different catagories you can browse through. So if you are looking for gross motor ideas simply type in “gross motor” into the search bar and several ideas should pop up. A word of caution is to “click through” the pins to find out where they are coming from. Sometimes pins don’t lead you to where you think they should. Sometimes I find that I see this really good activity and click on it and it leads me to something completely different than the pictured activity. I obviously don’t pin it then, it’s a no use to me. It’s easier to find it out right away than when you are planning to try it, plus it keeps your board nice and clean.
Starting a Group Board
Another great feature about Pinterest is that you can create group boards. What this means is that several different individuals can “pin” to the same board. I believe that having a group board with the therapists you work with is a great way to share your different ideas. You can create more than one group board that everyone can pin to. To add someone to a group board you simply just need their email address or Pinterest name. Boards can be secret or all your Pinterest friends can see them. I recently put together group Pinterest boards for myself and co-workers to use. I made them secret just for the fact I didn’t think most of my other followers on Pinterest needed to see all the different research articles I was pinning. The other reason is that some people are more private. I didn’t want anyone contributing to the board to feel like they were too exposed.
Pinning From The Internet
Pins don’t just have to come from the Pinterest website or app itself. Almost everything and every picture on the internet now has the ability to “pin it.” You can add your own from different blogs, websites, or research pages as you please. So say you see an awesome idea on Pink Oatmeal that you want to pin when reading the blog. You don’t have to go to Pinterest to search for it. Simply hover over a picture in the post you are reading and a pin it button comes up. Sometimes pin it buttons will be at the bottom of posts too depending on how it was set up. One thing to consider when you are pinning is to make sure that you are on that certain blog post page and not just the main page. For example if you want to pin about Jumpers being bad for babies you want to make sure that the web address leads to that particular post.
Should Look Like
The first link will take you right to the jumper article the second would just take you to the homepage and you would have to search around for the jumper article. Make sense? Be sure to use this tool when you are looking around the internet for ideas next time. It puts things in a nice organized manner and saves time when searching!
Sharing Pins With Others
Having a group board isn’t the only way that you can communicate with professionals. Pinterest offers great ways to send a pin to a friend or share a pin on your Facebook page. Simply click on the pin that you want to pin. If you look at the top right hand corner of the pin you have the option to send it to a friend. You can send through several different social media outlets or through email. Pinterest will prompt you through the steps. The other option is to share the pin on your Facebook. This would be the same as anything else you share on your Facebook. Not only can you share a pin but you can send an entire board to someone. When you are looking at your board or a board of someone you follow you will see the option to send the board at the top of the board. You simply put in the email address of the person you would like to send it to and send it. These are great options for people who you don’t have group boards with but you still work together and collaborate. For instance, I have a group board with fellow PT’s but not with some of the OT’s I work with. I still collaborate with the OT’s on different students. If I come across a pin that I would love to share with an OT that I work with I can just send it to them. So easy and effective!
Pinterest Is Versatile
Pinterest is easily accessible most anywhere you have the internet. You don’t have to be sitting at a computer to have Pinterest. They also have a nice app that you can download to your tablet or smartphone. A way I have utilized Pinterest on the go is when I was prescribing a standing program. I knew that I had previously “pinned” the latest research on how long individuals should be standing. I have the ability to pull it up on my phone or tablet when I am in the classroom or at a meeting without having to have my computer with me so I can reference it for my team. Nothing like having all your information literally in the palm of your hand.
- If you haven’t got Pinterest get it!
- If you work with a group of therapists pick a point person to set up group boards to share different ideas.
- Browse around for a few minutes and look for ideas you might not have thought of such as free handouts or research that you can use in your practice.
- Be cognisant of what you pin. It’s your image/brand out there. If you have things pinned that you wouldn’t want your boss to see please make them secret!
- Make sure to check and see if your professional governing body has a stance on social media. The APTA has put together their own policy.
How do you utilize Pinterest? Do you use it for your professional use? Do your co-workers utilize it? Stop by my Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Let me know if you have more ideas you would like from a pediatric physical therapist point of view!