ideas, innovations and apps for social work in the age of smartphones and social media
By JAN HOFFMAN, http://well.blogs.nytimes.com
The teenager’s cellphone buzzes. Her doctor, Natasha Burgert, is texting her: “Better morning with this medication?”
Another teenager opens his phone. “Everything is great,” reads Dr. Burgert’s discreet text. “Go ahead with the plan we discussed. Please reply so I know you received.”
And on the morning of college entrance exams, a teenager who suffers from a roiling stomach reads Dr. Burgert’s texted greeting: “Prepared. Focused. Calm. Your body is healthy and well. Good luck today.”
Dr. Burgert, a pediatrician in Kansas City, Mo., is making house calls. She is among a small but growing number of practitioners using social media to engage adolescents. Her patients read her blog and follow her on Twitter and Facebook. She even follows a few of the teenagers’ blogs, commenting occasionally.
During checkups, Dr. Burgert no longer gives teenagers brochures with advice on healthy living — which usually led to glazed expressions and teeming wastebaskets. Instead, a whiteboard hangs in her exam room, with hyperlinks and QR codes to sites with teenager-friendly material on sexuality, alcohol and drugs. The teenagers can photograph the board with their phones, storing the information to peruse in private.
Those topics dispensed with, Dr. Burgert has more time to listen to her patients. “This is a time for you,” she will say. “What do you want to talk about?” She often picks up subtle problems like stomachaches due to test anxiety.
She sustains those relationships through social media and, rather than leave teenagers unguided about dicey health matters, she continues sending them links to appropriate Web sites.
“I do as much as I can to get it on their phones, because that is what they live and die for,” Dr. Burgert said. …
Read the whole article at Technology That Involves Teenagers in Their Health – NYTimes.com.