Academic Life in Emergency Medicine (ALiEM)

Some resources just stand out in their innovation, quality and delivery, and Academic Life in Emergency Medicine (ALiEM) has to be one of the best for education. This organisation is part of the free open access to medical education (#FOAMed) movement, so its all accessible. It shows if you don’t have access to journals, books or higher education, that the online world can still help supplement your education theory and development with peer reviewed resources. Take a look at the incubator project, is this the start of challenging the traditional education pathways? If the doctors can do it, surely nurses can be inspired to create a community of learning away from the traditional sources of knowledge and make learners as co-designers and change the agility in knowledge translation and evidence based practice?

Academic Life in Emergency Medicine (ALiEM)

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eBook of the ALiEM blog series available for review and to join the peer review process.

Community of practice approach to learning networks.

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“The ALiEM Faculty Incubator Project is a year-long professional development program for educators, which enrolls members into a mentored digital community of practice. This small, 30-person, exclusive community will stoke the fires of creative engagement through mentorship and collaboration. We aim to strengthen your educational skills and produce tangible works of scholarship. Our goal is to construct a curriculum, delivered to you in a closed digital platform, and help you launch and accelerate your career development.”

Lacking in academic integrity I hear you say, take a look at the publication list around learning, education and social media from their team.


Follow the @ALiEMteam on Twitter.




The Top Ten Websites in Critical Care Medicine Education Today (Journal Club)

Journal Club Article: Wolbrink, T. A., Rubin, L., Burns, J. P., & Markovitz, B. (2018). The Top Ten Websites in Critical Care Medicine Education TodayJournal of intensive care medicine, 0885066618759287.


Looks at the rapid growth of online educational resources in the critical care environment. From another review by Kleinpell et al (2011) which identified 135 websites, only 67 now are still available online. This demonstrates a rapidly changing environment and provides a rationale for this papers focus.


  • Literature review and web search.
  • Website assessment using the Critical Care Medical Education Website Quality Evaluation Tool (CCMEWQET).
  • Evaluation and ranking of identified websites.


  • 97 websites relevant critical care websites were identified and scored.
  • Common types of resources, included blog posts, podcasts, videos, online journal clubs, and interactive components such as quizzes.
  • Almost one quarter of websites (n 22) classified as Free Open Access to Medicine (FOAM) websites.
  • Top 10 websites analysed and described. “Most often included an editorial process, high-quality and appropriately attributed graphics and multimedia, scored much higher for comprehensiveness and ease of access, and included opportunities for interactive learning.”

The Top Ten 

In alphabetical order:

FOAM Highlight

“The majority of FOAM website domains were not educational, nonprofit, or governmental. The FOAM websites were updated more recently than the other critical care medicine educational websites” (pg. 5).


Kleinpell, R., Ely, E. W., Williams, G., Liolios, A., Ward, N., & Tisherman, S. A. (2011). Web-based resources for critical care educationCritical Care Medicine39(3), 541-553.

Olusanya, O., Day, J., Kirk-Bayley, J., & Szakmany, T. (2017). Free Open Access Med (ical edu) cation for critical care practitionersJournal of Intensive Care Medicine.

Wolbrink, T. A., Rubin, L., Burns, J. P., & Markovitz, B. (2018). The Top Ten Websites in Critical Care Medicine Education TodayJournal of Intensive Care Medicine. 0885066618759287.

Simulation Resources To Follow

Simulation is a key component of nursing and healthcare training, and the knowledge base is continually increasing with research publications, conferences, online and social media resources. To aid knowledge translation, the nurse educator needs to embrace a global network of resources not just confined to local knowledge. To keep current on simulation focused research, here are some resources that may help (no conflict of interest to report). As ever please add any suggestions of other resources you know about in the comments section at the bottom of this post and I will update the below resource list.

This post supplements the recent Journals For The Nurse Educator To Follow  and these journals will also include simulation research.

Simulation Focused Journals

Online & Social Media Resources

Social Media & Healthcare: The Literature

This post is more a reference to the growing evidence of SoMe in healthcare.  New publications will be added as I discover them in the literature and please add any ones I may have missed in the comment section. All resources from this post have been created into a Social Media & Healthcare Google+ community, which you can also add relevant resources to as well and add valuable comments.


Azzam, A., Bresler, D., Leon, A., Maggio, L., Whitaker, E., Heilman, J., … & Trotter, F. (2017). Why Medical Schools Should Embrace Wikipedia: Final-Year Medical Student Contributions to Wikipedia Articles for Academic Credit at One School. Academic Medicine, 92(2), 194.

Borgmann, H., DeWitt, S., Tsaur, I., Haferkamp, A., & Loeb, S. (2015). Novel survey disseminated through Twitter supports its utility for networking, disseminating research, advocacy, clinical practice and other professional goals. Canadian Urological Association Journal, 9(9-10), E713.

Cain, J. (2011). Social media in health care: the case for organizational policy and employee education. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 68(11), 1036.

Campbell, L., Evans, Y., Pumper, M., & Moreno, M. A. (2016). Social media use by physicians: a qualitative study of the new frontier of medicine. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 16(1), 91.

Carroll, C. L., & Bruno, K. (2016). Social Media and Free Open Access Medical Education: The Future of Medical and Nursing Education? American Journal of Critical Care, 25(1), 93-96.

Chan, T., Trueger, N. S., Roland, D., & Thoma, B. (2017). Evidence-based medicine in the era of social media: Scholarly engagement through participation and online interaction. Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine, 1-6.

Chretien, K. C., & Kind, T. (2013). Social Media and Clinical Care. Circulation, 127(13), 1413-1421.

DeCamp, M., Koenig, T. W., & Chisolm, M. S. (2013). Social media and physicians’ online identity crisisJama310(6), 581-582.

Greene, J. (2013). Social media and physician learning. Annals of emergency medicine, 62(5), A11-A13.

Grajales III, F. J., Sheps, S., Ho, K., Novak-Lauscher, H., & Eysenbach, G. (2014). Social media: a review and tutorial of applications in medicine and health careJournal of medical Internet research16(2), e13.

Hawn, C. (2009). Take two aspirin and tweet me in the morning: how Twitter, Facebook, and other social media are reshaping health care. Health affairs28(2), 361-368.

Jain, S. H. (2009). Practicing medicine in the age of FacebookNew England Journal of Medicine361(7), 649-651

Mollett, A., Brumley, C., Gilson, C., & Williams, S. (2017). Communicating Your Research with Social Media: A Practical Guide to Using Blogs, Podcasts, Data Visualisations and Video. SAGE.

Mollett, A., Moran, D., & Dunleavy, P. (2011). Using Twitter in university research, teaching and impact activities.

Moorley, C., & Chinn, T. (2014). Using social media for continuous professional development. Journal of advanced nursing.

Panahi, S., Watson, J., & Partridge, H. (2016). Social media and physicians: exploring the benefits and challenges. Health informatics journal22(2), 99-112.

Peoples, B. K., Midway, S. R., Sackett, D., Lynch, A., & Cooney, P. B. (2016). Twitter Predicts Citation Rates of Ecological Research. PloS one, 11(11), e0166570.

Ranschaert, E. R., Van Ooijen, P. M., McGinty, G. B., & Parizel, P. M. (2016). Radiologists’ usage of social media: Results of the RANSOM survey. Journal of digital imaging, 29(4), 443-449.

Roland D, Spurr J, Cabrera D. (2017) Preliminary Evidence for the Emergence of a Health Care Online Community of Practice: Using a Netnographic Framework for Twitter Hashtag Analytics. J Med Internet Res.19(7):e252. DOI: 10.2196/jmir.7072

Rozenblum, R., & Bates, D. W. (2013). Patient-centred healthcare, social media and the internet: the perfect storm?. BMJ Quality & Safety.

Topolovec-Vranic, J., & Natarajan, K. (2016). The Use of Social Media in Recruitment for Medical Research Studies: A Scoping Review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 18(11).

Van Noorden, R. (2014). Scientists and the social network. Nature, 512(7513), 126.

Ventola, C. L. (2014). Social media and health care professionals: benefits, risks, and best practices. Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 39(7), 491.

Villanti, A. C., Johnson, A. L., Ilakkuvan, V., Jacobs, M. A., Graham, A. L., & Rath, J. M. (2017). Social Media Use and Access to Digital Technology in US Young Adults in 2016. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 19(6), e196.

Wilson, R., Ranse, J., Cashin, A., & McNamara, P. (2013). Nurses and Twitter: The good, the bad, and the reluctant. Collegian. Chicago.

Zahedi, Z., Costas, R., Larivière, V., & Haustein, S. (2017). What makes papers visible on social media? An analysis of various document characteristics. arXiv preprint arXiv:1703.05777.



Digital Badges

Learning now happens everywhere, so how can we recognise this learning? One option is to receive digital badges for completion of learning tasks. Earn for online skills, completing modules or engaging in a community.

Digital Badges

Think back to your childhood, you may have been a scout or guide and been awarded a badge for attaining a proficiency such as knot tying or map reading. This reward provided recognition of an achievement for the person to record and demonstrate they had been assessed and deemed competent in a skill. With the online world increasing in education delivery it is important to recognise achievements. Digital badges are a method of recognition, you can then store them in a digital backpack.

Digital Open Badges are:

  • Free and open: “Mozilla Open Badges is not proprietary. It’s free software and an open technical standard any organization can use to create, issue and verify digital badges.
  • Transferable: Collect badges from multiple sources, online and off, into a single backpack. Then display your skills and achievements on social networking profiles, job sites, websites and more.
  • Stackable: Whether they’re issued by one organization or many, badges can build upon each other and be stacked to tell the full story of your skills and achievements.
  • Evidence-based: Open Badges are information-rich. Each badge has important metadata which is hard-coded into the badge image file itself that links back to the issuer, criteria and verifying evidence”.

From MozillaWiki (2014).

Digital Open Badges make it easy to:

  • “Get recognition for the things you learn,
  • Give recognition for the things you teach,
  • Verify skills,
  • Display your verified badges across the web”.

From MozillaWiki (2014).

Your Recognition For Reading This Blog

Claim you Electronic badge [link here] as reward for supporting Nursing Education Network and engaging in emerging technology and ideas.

Claim Code: A1E-D0FA-5D6

Creating a Badge

The below references provide a guide to digital badges, and the available resources to create simple digital badges. My experience was to try the free websites and use very simple processes for creating open badges, which you can see above as my first attempt. If I had the coding skills I would like to create, bake and complete a digital badge to share on open access (one for the future).


Mozilla (2016) Open Badges

Mozilla Wiki (2014) Badges

Badge Alliance (2016) Badge Issuing Platforms

Wikipedia (2016) Digital Badge

Blackall, L. (2015). Displaying ONPhD badges


Radical Constructivism & Ernst von Glasersfeld

Radical Constructivism is?

Information is not simply transferred from one person to another, and passed from teacher to student. The learning experience is down to the individual building knowledge and their subjective interpretation of this experience.

The individual constructs knowledge, understanding and links this with their own experiences and ideas – the constructivism part. von Glasersfeld (1989) writes “understanding is not a matter of passively receiving but of actively building up”.

Assimilation is using new experiences to already existing schema, knowledge and experiences (von Glasersfeld, 2013). So according to von Glasersfeld, conceptually today’s education will soon be yesterday’s experience to construct and build on.

Theoretical Aspect

Radical constructivism provides an epistemological (theory of knowledge) approach where the cognizing individual creates meaning and understanding through active learning (von Glasersfeld, 2013). This radical constructive learning theory is based on one’s own experience and interpretation, “What we make of experience constitutes the only world we consciously live in” (Von Glasersfeld, 2013, p. 1). The complexity of Glasersfeld’s theory, which emphasises the subjectivity of the individual, and their reality and organisation of the world is a very challenging epistemological concept.

Become a Radical Constructivist with Ernst

Introduction to Radical Constructivism

Teaching & Radical Constructivism

Adaption, Assimilation & Accommodation

Keywords: Radical constructivism; pertubations; epistemological; ontological assumptions; cognizing.


Von Glasersfeld, E. (1984). An introduction to radical constructivism. The invented reality, 17-40.

von Glasersfeld, E. (2013). Radical Constructivism. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

Von Glasersfeld, E. (1989). Cognition, construction of knowledge, and teaching. Synthese, 80(1), 121-140.

Wikipedia (2016) Constructivist_epistemology 


Focus the mind: To wee or not to wee?

To wee or not to wee, that is the question.

Need to make an important decision or focus more clearly on a task? The question we are trying to answer in this post is whether you should take a planned wee before or hold on till after a task, and which is better to focus the mind.

To Wee

Lewis, M. S., Snyder, P. J., Pietrzak, R. H., Darby, D., Feldman, R. A., & Maruff, P. (2011). The effect of acute increase in urge to void on cognitive function in healthy adults. Neurourology and urodynamics, 30(1), 183-187.

“found that having an extreme urge to void had a negative effect on attention and working memory functions. The impact on cognitive function was equivalent to low levels of alcohol intoxication or fatigue, and thus, could increase the risk of accidents in occupational settings. These cognitive functions returned to normal almost immediately after voiding.”

Or Not To Wee

Tuk, M. A., Trampe, D., & Warlop, L. (2011). Inhibitory spillover increased urination urgency facilitates impulse control in unrelated domainsPsychological Science, 22(5), 627-633.

Looked at the inhibitory visceral factor—urination urgency—on impulsive behavior. Do visceral factors associated with inhibition deteriorate impulse control? Or might bladder pressure provide a condition under which people’s ability to control impulses, and hence their ability to act in their own long-term best interest, improves?

“A physiological form of control — bladder control — can also facilitate behavioral control.”

Suggest that holding it in actually facilitates our ability to control our impulses and make the best decisions in whatever situation we find ourselves. What the researchers found was that the stronger people’s urge to pee, the better they were at controlling their impulses.

Sign in Canada

In Summary

The Ig Nobel Medicine Prize (2011) was awarded jointly to both studies for demonstrating that people make better decisions about some kinds of things — but worse decisions about other kinds of things‚ when they have a strong urge to urinate.

So probably best just to wee to prevent any accidents!

The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that make people laugh, and then think.


Lewis, M. S., Snyder, P. J., Pietrzak, R. H., Darby, D., Feldman, R. A., & Maruff, P. (2011). The effect of acute increase in urge to void on cognitive function in healthy adults. Neurourology and urodynamics, 30(1), 183-187.

Tuk, M. A., Trampe, D., & Warlop, L. (2011). Inhibitory spillover increased urination urgency facilitates impulse control in unrelated domainsPsychological Science, 22(5), 627-633.