The why, when and who of #WeStudentAHPs

Thursday 27th September 2018 by @WeAHPs

So… You’ve heard about the Student Takeover (We hope!) but you aren’t quite sure what it’s all about and why it’s so important? Well let’s remedy that!

We really wanted to try and address the ‘issues’ surrounding healthcare professionals and budding healthcare professionals (A.K.A students) using social media because for many of us we are told the horrors of doing so without being told/shown how it can be used effectively, safely and as part of continual professional development (CPD).

We could have just talked about this amongst ourselves or tweeted about it a couple times, but it’s highly unlikely to reach all the new healthcare students that start university each year as well as all the existing students, so a bigger event was needed to attract attention – hence the Student Takeover was born! Putting four likeminded student AHP heads together we have some pretty solid reasons for why #WeStudentAHPs is so important:


  • We need to encourage students to start networking and building confidence
  • We need to show that social media is a fab place to share important information that applies to and affects all of our disciplines
  • We can show students how CPD can be built from the beginning of their training
  • Students can connect and learn with, from and about one another – to help prevent a culture of working in silos
  • Raise the profile of using Twitter to encourage students and professionals alike to forge connections and develop both personally and professionally
  • AHP students are often under recognised – let’s change that!


We totally get that Twitter can seem overwhelming, especially taking part in tweetchats for the first time, but this why we felt like a week would be a good amount of time for people who may be new to the platform to get to grips with participating - as well as encouraging as many existing students and professionals to get involved too, as a way of showing new students how a supportive environment can be fostered online. To this end we needed topics that would speak to healthcare students and as AHP students ourselves, the #WeStudentAHPs team thought about all the things that we have learned since starting our respective courses and what we felt was important to share. So here is a brief outline of what’s going to be happening through the week:



What’s happening?

Tweetchat (7.30-8.30pm)

Monday 8th October

- Introduction to the ‘WeCommunities’,      @WeAHPs

- How to use ‘MyWe’ for CPD

- Introduction to the Allied Health Professions

- Importance of AHPs Day (15th Oct)

‘What is an AHP?’ which will give participants chance to learn about what an allied health professional is and how this makes up your professional identity.

Hosted by Sarah Bradder via @WeAHPs

Tuesday 9th October

- Pros and cons of social media

- FAQ’s of using social media

- Looking at HCPC guidance on social media use

‘Benefits and potential pitfalls of social media’ to discuss whether personal and professional should be kept separate, where to seek advice and whether communications on social media differ from those in real life.

Hosted by Julie Bolter via @WeAHPs


Wednesday 10th October

- Balancing placement/academic

- Self-care

- Sharing helpful tips, tricks and apps for managing workload

- Discussing fears/concerns of starting placement/university life


No tweetchat this evening!

Thursday 11th October

- Introduction to leadership – students can be leaders too!

- Discussing networking

- How to build resilience

- Emotional intelligence

‘Building emotional intellegence’ to explain what emotional intelligence actually is, how it is important as healthcare students/professionals and ways to build it.

Hosted by Nick Flanagan via @WeAHPs


Friday 12th October

- Celebration of AHP student achievements

- More information on AHP’s Day

- Opportunities for students – what to get involved with and how to make the most of your time as a student

‘Discussing student opportunities’ to look at the extra-curricular activities that students have the chance to partake in, where to start if you want to get involved with something and potential barriers.

Hosted by Alison Booker via @WeAHPs


 Find all the tweetchat details listed here.

We’ve covered the why and the when so now let’s address the who. Who are the #WeStudentAHPs team? They are a group of 4 AHP students who met via the Student Leadership Programme at the beginning of 2018 and have been collaborating over the summer to make this Student Takeover week a reality. Meet the team:


Nick Flanagan




I am a final year MSc Physiotherapy Student at Teesside University. I have recently completed the Council of Deans Student Leadership Programme, I am the CSP Student Representative for my cohort and have been recently elected as 1st team captain for Newcastle Ravens RFC. I have a keen interest in #RehabHIV and learning more about supporting the unique needs of people living with HIV across the UK & Ireland. 

I think giving students AHPs a space to showcase their ability demonstrates that leadership transcends typical vertical professional “hierarchies”. We all have a unique story and I believe we can learn from each other. We can learn how to better not only our professional practice skills but also how to be better humans. With my tweetchat, “Building emotional intelligence”, I hope to champion participants to share experiences, reflect, and plan for positive change! This is an excellent opportunity for me to develop my leadership practice and use the principle of positive risk taking to step outside my comfort zone. I want to build confidence in my communication and interpersonal skills while disseminating my own learning and facilitating knowledge transfer between participants.


Julie Bolter



I’m a Student Dietitian studying at Plymouth University and I previously worked in the NHS as a Health Care Assistant in both acute and primary care settings. I was also chosen to be part of the Council of Deans student leadership programme.

I’m passionate about the current and potential impact AHPs have on improving people’s lives. I have found many benefits from engaging in social media including learning, developing a network and building a supportive network of virial friends and colleagues. This has led to an interest in supporting other students to use social media in a professional capacity to learn, share ideas and network.

Since joining team @WeAHPs I have been excited to be involved in a student takeover. The main reasons for the takeover are to really support, inform and encourage as many AHP students to use social media in a positive way so that they can also reap the rewards.


Alison Booker


I am a Student Dietitian, commencing my third year of study on a four-year NHS dietetic programme at Leeds Beckett University. Alongside my studies I am an Army Reservist and currently on my 6-week non-clinical placement with the Defence Nutrition Advisory Service, which combines my professional interests in Dietetics and the Military. I look forward to starting my clinical placements which take place from January 2019 based at the Mid-Yorkshire and Northumbrian Trusts.

I am extremely honoured to be a part of the @WeAHP Student Takeover Week and to be guest hosting the tweetchat 'Discussing Student Opportunities,' because I believe that we, as students, have a real voice in the future of the NHS and in healthcare. Pursuing opportunities while at University has opened doors and supported my own journey as a student AHP and I hope to share, inspire and empower other students too. Pursuing opportunities both inside and outside the curriculum can be a positive and rewarding experience that can help us to develop our professional as well as personal skills and can enhance our abilities as future practitioners. By the same token, it is recognised that in doing so can require a high level of time and commitment, which can be difficult to balance on a professional course. I hope to discuss our experiences as students, where to look to find the best opportunities as well as how to make the most of opportunities that arise and how to get the support you need.


Sarah Bradder



I’m a therapeutic radiography student at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU), qualifying in Spring/Summer 2019. I’m actively involved in recruitment of therapeutic radiographers and AHPs in general as well as promoting my profession with both SHU and Health Education England. I’m also an Allied Health Professionals Department student representative - acting as the voice of the students to help develop and improve the healthcare courses at SHU and was selected as one of the Council of Deans of Health #150Leaders.

As one fifth of the @WeAHPs coordinating team I am fully behind using social media in a professional capacity - I feel that it has the power to forge connections that would otherwise never have occurred. It has the ability to break boundaries and can therefore be utilised to share and develop practices across the country and even the globe. I’m super passionate about highlighting the benefits of sensible and effective social media use to AHP students in terms of early and continued professional development, networking and being part of a wider community. My tweetchat on ‘What is an AHP?’ aims to highlight to new students that they are part of a bigger community than they may have realised and that by being under the umbrella of ‘allied health professions’ as well as their individual profession makes them one kick-ass healthcare professional.



It is really important to us that we work to overcome the stigma placed on the use of social media as budding professionals - the power of Twitter is that it has the ability to overcome boundaries, be they geographical, hierarchical or professional. We feel that getting students involved from the beginning of their training could encourage and inspire innovation and enterprise in expanding AHP working and collaboration in different settings, allowing students to see more than just the traditional linear job progression. We want existing students to take part too because who can better advise a new cohort than those who are currently experiencing the courses? And we want professionals to support new and existing students, sharing their knowledge, experiences and showing us how a supportive network can be created on social media.


So please join us on @WeAHPs from Monday 8th October for the week to share, support and learn in an inclusive, accessible and friendly environment #WeStudentAHPs


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