#WeNurses - Tuesday 17th November 2020 8pm (GMT Standard Time) What role does popular culture play in healthcare?

If you haven't joined in a tweet chat before it's very simple.    Here's a guide

 Chat Details


Hosted by WeNurses using #WeNurses

This chat is guest hosted by @genomicsedu

Popular culture is a good way to get new advances in healthcare into the public’s consciousness. However, sometimes facts can be misconstrued, and expectations elevated. How important is it to separate the fact from the fiction? 

The media can play a powerful role in the way we perceive new advances or treatments in healthcare and can sometimes influence our expectations or opinions about the care we receive. The information we see in newspaper headlines or included in tv shows or movie storylines (genetic engineering in Jurassic Park for example) can, at times, be inaccurate or misleading. Despite how this information is presented it does have the power to influence and can affect our views and decisions.

Genomics (the study of all our DNA) is one example that is featured prominently in media and popular culture. From the portrayal of genetic conditions in soaps to advertisements from companies offering kits that will provide with you with a wealth of health and lifestyle advice based on information from your DNA.   


What does this mean for nurses?

Genomics is now part of the suite of investigations that is used in many different specialities. As a result, more healthcare professionals as well as patients, maybe encountering this technology for the first time.  Many patients will have preconceived ideas about the value of genetics and genomics,and part of the role of the healthcare professional is to find out patients’ views and correct any misinformation held by patients and their families. Through this Twitterchat we want to discuss the different strategies you use to manage patient expectations and their questions. Where do you go for further information about genetics and genomics and how do you handle those conversations when a patient has a misunderstanding based on information they heard about through popular culture?

There is a podcast associated with this tweetchat “Genomics in popular culture”  click HERE to listen >



Join the chat

During this chat we would like to explore some of the common themes, myths and misconceptions perpetuated by popular culture around genetics and genomics and share strategies for dealing with them. Do you feel prepared or even comfortable to answer questions or challenge misconceptions?


Questions will include:

  • How does popular culture –news stories, films, books, adverts etc. – influence patients’ expectations of healthcare? 
  • What kind of questions have you heard from patients following, for example, a big news event or a storyline in a soap?
  • How do you manage patient expectations based on what they have seen or read through popular culture?
  • From the animated DNA in Jurassic Park, genomics has featured in popular culture in various ways. What examples have you seen?
  • Do stories featuring complex topics in healthcare, like genomics, motivate you to learn more?
  • Where do you go to find out more about complex topics, like genomics?
  • What can HEE do to support you?


What is the Genomics Education Programme?

Health Education England’sGenomics Education Programme exists to deliver and advise on learning and development opportunities that prepare current and future NHS professionals to make the best use of genomics in their practice.

Rapid advances in technology and understanding mean that genomics is now more relevant than ever before. As genomics increasingly becomes a part of mainstream NHS care, all healthcare professionals, and not just genomics specialists, need to have a good understanding of its relevance and potential to impact the diagnosis, treatment and management of people in our care.

  • The GEP’s objectives are:
  • Prepare the workforce to deliver the newEngland-wide NHS Genomic Medicine Service.
  • Support the completion of the landmark100,000 Genomes Project.
  • Provide the best education opportunities in genomics for the NHS workforce.
  • Develop strategic collaborations to keep theUK at the forefront of genomics in healthcare.

For more information visit or contact us on genomicseducation@hee.nhs.uk , can you change that too please. Otherwise everything else is all ok. 

About our guest hosts: 

Joanne Swidenbank Joanne is a Registered nurse currently undertaking a PhD (Topic: Healthcare workforce education in genomics) at the University of South Wales funded by KESS2 in partnership with Genomics Partnership Wales.

Charlotte Hitchcock Charlotte entered nursing as a mature student, qualifying in 1995. She worked in theatres at Birmingham Children’sHospital and was involved in the establishment of the Liver Transplant team.Charlotte then moved to Norfolk, spending six years working as a senior theatre practitioner in the emergency theatres and during which she qualified as an operating department practitioner to achieve dual qualification. She worked as Assistant Lead Nurse in North Wales for two years, and later back Theatre Manager at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch. Charlotte started work at New Cross Hospital in 2012, working in Clinical Informatics, prior to starting the exciting role as Genomic Ambassador covering Wolverhampton, Walsall, Dudley and Worcestershire.

Michelle Bishop Dr Michelle Bishop is the Education Development Specialist for HEE’s Genomics Education Programme.She studied a PhD in the field of genetics education and has since specialised in genetics and genomics education for Health Education England. She also previously worked as a genetic counsellor. Michelle provides educational guidance and contributes to the development of genomics-related resources and curricula for the specialist workforce, as well as driving wider NHS workforce transformation.

Ed Miller Dr Ed Miller is Senior Education Development Officer for HEE’s Genomics Education Programme. Ed provides scientific and educational guidance for the development and production of a range of resources for the NHS workforce. Before joining the GEP, Ed completed a PhD in DNA damage repair and replication at the University of Birmingham. During his time as a researcher he gained valuable experience in science communication and public engagement by planning and presenting at a number of educational events for a wide range of audiences.

  • Follow us