Want to join the audio revolution? Put in your earbuds and listen or grab the mic and broadcast your own
Podcasting is one of the hottest trends in entertainment today. About one in four Americans over the age of 12 now listens to podcasts. That number continues to climb: By 2021, some projections say there will be more than 100 million listeners in the U.S. alone.
EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN
While the term “podcast” dates back to 2004 and the introduction of Apple’s popular iPod, the concept is something of a throwback to the days when radio was the preeminent form of mass entertainment. From the ’30s to the ’50s, American families would gather around the radio to hear favorite shows like “The Jack Benny Program.” Radio shows embraced almost every genre — fiction and nonfiction — in 15-, 30 and 60-minute daily or weekly installments.
By about 1960, television had killed the radio star, but narrative audio has recently seen a resurgence thanks to the proliferation of electronic audio files, portable music players and streaming audio. Like many modern innovations, a key selling point is convenience. Although you can listen to a podcast on your desktop computer, most people load or stream them on their smartphones.
Plug in your headphones and you have hands-free entertainment to liven up jogging, car trips, cooking, getting ready for work or your lunch break. Podcasts are perfect for busy people, and there’s no one person busier than a nurse!
PODCASTS FOR NURSES …
There’s no shortage of podcasts directed at nurses. Got a certification test to study for or need to brush up on your EKG rhythms, anatomy or physiology? There’s probably a podcast for that. Want to become a nurse entrepreneur, go back to school or just hear outrageous on-the-job stories? There are podcasts for those things too.
Hospitals and medical centers are getting in on the podcast action as well. For instance, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center hosts a podcast on geriatric nursing, funded by the Centers for Health and Aging. Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic and several others are using podcasts to educate their patients and healthcare staff.
Just a few of the healthcare organizations hosting podcasts directed specifically to a nursing or health professional audience include the Infusion Nurses Society, the CDC, the FDA and Medscape. UCLA School of Nursing now has an advanced pharmacology podcast for future nurses. Organizations like these see the value of podcasts as a platform.
… AND PODCASTS BY NURSES
Although there are plenty of podcasts aimed at nurses (check out the sidebar on the following pages for a few of my favorites), there’s always room for more. If none of the existing nursing podcasts speaks to you, why not start your own?
PEOPLE ARE WILD
That’s what Kim Tucker, RN, BSN, decided to do. As a travel nurse, she often listened to podcasts during the long drives to each assignment. She soon felt inspired to launch her own podcast series, entitled, “People Are Wild,” which she now produces and hosts.
What’s the concept? “The ’People Are Wild’ podcast is all about how weird our bodies are and how alike all of us as humans are in many ways,” Tucker explains. “Let’s talk about those taboo topics of GI distress or period problems or STIs. Let’s do it in a way that’s insightful, educationally accurate, backed up by evidence-based best practice and full of humor!”
Since nothing quite like that already existed, Tucker says, “I started looking up info on how to do it by myself. That is still something that I’m figuring out in terms of the editing and such.”
As for the title, she explains, “It’s that running joke you hear in the ER when a patient comes in with an unbelievable diagnosis. You always say something along the lines of, ‘Man — I guess that proves that people are wild.’ Boom, there’s my title.”
Although she had never done a podcast before, Tucker says, “I dove into the ice-cold water feet first and went for it. Now, here I am six months later, still doing it!”