If you are anything like me, you spent a few minutes Sunday night scrolling through Facebook to see what kind of mischief your 3,000 friends got into this holiday weekend. There were the obligatory photos of adorable kids hunting for colored eggs and chocolate, along with the many wishes for a happy Passover and Easter. Some had to rub it in that they attended an Opening Day game. The most memorable status update for me? My friend John posted before and after photos of the lamb ‘ the WHOLE lamb, head included ‘ that he cooked for Easter dinner. It was almost enough to turn me into a vegetarian.

Now, if you're a doctor or a nurse, it's very possible that after liking a few status updates, you spent the next few hours searching for a job. As it turns out, 1 in 3 respondents to a recent AMN Healthcare survey said they used social media for job searching in 2011, up from 1 in 5 in 2010.
Here are some additional insights:

  • 48 percent of all respondents used social media for networking, up from 37 percent in 2010.
  • Of those using social media for their job search, 11 percent said it resulted in a job interview, 9 percent said it led to a job offer.
  • 76 percent said Facebook is their top choice, followed by LinkedIn at 18 percent.
  • 32 percent of clinicians reported using mobile devices to access health-related content or jobs, up from 12 percent in 2010.

Since health care continues to be one of the steady bright spots in the jobs market ‘ the government reported on Friday that health care added 26,000 jobs in March ‘ it's highly probable that these trends will continue, if not accelerate. But a larger question here is how much more can/will social media change overall business operations? Well, we know from previous reporting that hospitals are harnessing the power of social media to stay connected with patients and provide them with relevant health-related information; they are using it during disasters to ensure that people are getting important information instantaneously. And, as the AMN survey suggests, it is a critical tool for recruiting the best and brightest.

We've seen social media foster political change across the globe, so what's to say that it won't forever change the way hospitals interact with staff, patients and their communities? What impact is social media having in your community? How do you see it changing the way all parts of the health care system interact with one another? Let me know your thoughts by sending an email to mweinstock@healthforum.com.