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Stop telling people to use the search feature!

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by MallysMama MallysMama (New Member) New Member

MallysMama has 6 years experience and works as a AGACNP.

6,716 Visitors; 281 Posts

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Hey! So this post will probably be very unpopular- but I'm sharing my vent anyway!

I'm SO sick of reading a thread and seeing people just tell the OP to do a search for their topic because it's already been talked about lots of times. This is an active forum- not an archive! If everyone just used the search feature to read old posts- instead of posting their own question- NO ONE would be posting anything!!

This forum has been around for a very long time- so naturally just about everything that could be discussed, has already been discussed! And if you've participated in 100 of the same discussions- there's no rule saying you need to comment on the 101st!

There are thousands of people on these forums- and new ones join every day! If you want to nicely let them know that they could also use the search feature (in addition to asking their own question)- then go for it! But so often I read these snarky comments about rehashing old topics! For the love- knock it off!! If you have nothing helpful to add- just don't comment!! There are probably plenty of people who haven't participated 100 times in the same topic that will be happy to add to the discussion.

If you're tired of seeing the same things rehashed over and over ("can't pass NCLEX," "NP vs PA," "online vs B&M," etc.)....I have a simple plan for you: just don't click on the thread! You don't have to even read it!

Okay...vent over! Light your torches and grab your pitch forks! I'm ready for ya! ;) (Honestly though- if you have a good argument against my rant, please feel free to share it! Everyone has opinions and your's is just as good as mine!)

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238 Likes; 3 Followers; 95,248 Visitors; 36,405 Posts

You are right. There is a nice way and a snarky way to say lots of suggestions. I like the "search" suggestions that consist of a list of five previous thread links for the OP to use. The one or two members who used to do that though seem to have tired of taking the effort.

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icuRNmaggie has 24 years experience and works as a Critical Care Nurse.

1 Like; 25,007 Visitors; 1,970 Posts

I disagree. Some topics have been discussed in great depth and contain current EBP with credible sources. For example, the thread on correcting hyponatremia was excellent and we all learned something from it.

The search function is a great resource for clinical issues.

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sirI has 30 years experience as a MSN, APRN, NP and works as a MedLeg Consul/Educator/WHNP(E)-FNP.

203 Likes; 12 Followers; 18 Articles; 135,532 Visitors; 12,923 Posts

Thread moved to Site Feedback.

I agree there is a polite way to redirect members to use the Search feature. And, the Search feature is a great way to find similar topics/threads that will answer a lot of questions allowing one to start another thread to expand on the topic and/or ask other questions. Nothing wrong with that.

New members especially are hesitant to post. They probably feel timid and unsure of exactly how to ask a question; certainly have no clue about how to utilize the special features of the site. They need gentle direction along with a welcoming message. But, they should never be made to feel unwelcome and that their inquiry is trite, overdone, mundane, not worthy of a reply, repetitive, etc. Members should bypass a thread if they cannot restrain from posting messages that might embarrass the new member or post messages that set up a thread for failure from the get-go.

No need to invite flames with this thread, MallysMama. Bringing this subject up is a good thing.

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mirandaaa has 3 years experience and works as a Transportation.

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It's more so the fact that the feeds are so unbelievably clogged with the same exact content and questions that have already been answered 200 times. Rather than start a new thread for a subject that was JUST discussed recently, read the recent thread.

Obviously if the subject hasn't been covered in a while then ask away. I see the same questions (sometimes even from the same poster) two, sometimes three times a day.

It seems to be more of a "I want to ask the question myself and maybe I'll get a better answer than when someone else asked" attitude rather than actually wanting to know the answer.

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1 Like; 15,733 Visitors; 993 Posts

Honestly the search feature never really works well for me.... It mostly pulls up pretty irrelevant results.

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MallysMama has 6 years experience and works as a AGACNP.

6,716 Visitors; 281 Posts

I disagree. Some topics have been discussed in great depth and contain current EBP with credible sources. For example, the thread on correcting hyponatremia was excellent and we all learned something from it.

The search function is a great resource for clinical issues.

I totally agree with you: the search feature can be a great tool! My vent is directed towards those that tell the OP in rude or snarky ways to not post something that has been posted before. There are nicer ways of going about that.

And then- sure, those older threads may have great info and advice in them. But what about the views of newer members or those that hadn't seen the older post? There's nothing wrong with asking if anyone else has something to say. Who knows- someone new might bring up a great point that hadn't been talked about in a previous thread's responses.

I'm just tired of seeing new members bullied (and I hesitate to use that word) for posting something that's been discussed many times. It's one thing to let them know the search feature exists...but there's no need to ream them for asking something that they could just search for.

Like I said before- there's no rule that says someone must comment on a thread. If it's repetitive to you- just ignore it.

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Rose_Queen is a BSN, MSN, RN and works as a Staff nurse educator.

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And then- sure, those older threads may have great info and advice in them. But what about the views of newer members or those that hadn't seen the older post? There's nothing wrong with asking if anyone else has something to say. Who knows- someone new might bring up a great point that hadn't been talked about in a previous thread's responses.

Sometimes, those who have posted multiple times on a topic may not wish to rehash the same information on a new thread. Many times, those threads are still open and posters may continue to contribute, which will bring the thread back up to the top of the list and possibly increase participation by newer members. A lot of previous threads still have good, relevant information posted by members who no longer frequent the site or have decided not to participate in repetitive threads. Yes, there are good and not so good ways to recommend the search function, but it's not that it's worthless.

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MallysMama has 6 years experience and works as a AGACNP.

6,716 Visitors; 281 Posts

Sometimes, those who have posted multiple times on a topic may not wish to rehash the same information on a new thread. Many times, those threads are still open and posters may continue to contribute, which will bring the thread back up to the top of the list and possibly increase participation by newer members. A lot of previous threads still have good, relevant information posted by members who no longer frequent the site or have decided not to participate in repetitive threads. Yes, there are good and not so good ways to recommend the search function, but it's not that it's worthless.

That's a good point about being able to comment on old threads. However- I have seen, in the past, when someone comments or asks a question on an old ("dead") thread and then someone follows that by pointing out to the person that the thread was done years ago. So- really they can't win either way! It's a bit "danged if you do, danged if you don't."

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13 Likes; 2 Followers; 46,160 Visitors; 8,863 Posts

FWIW I also haven't had great luck with the search feature and don't think I have ever posted just to tell someone search but I would be in favor of suggesting the search feature if they aren't getting many answers because it has been a well worn topic. I agree that there are plenty of those who seem to feel their situation is so specially unique or they post repeatedly possibly in hopes of finally getting the answer they want but again I usually ignore them.

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JustBeachyNurse has 10 years experience and works as a Nurse.

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That's a good point about being able to comment on old threads. However- I have seen, in the past, when someone comments or asks a question on an old ("dead") thread and then someone follows that by pointing out to the person that the thread was done years ago. So- really they can't win either way! It's a bit "danged if you do, danged if you don't."

I think it's relative. A thread from five years ago about an issue that is long resolved or no longer relevant often brought back to life by a member looking to cause drama...that's a problem. (Such as old legislation that did or did not pass and is irrelevant now. )

There are quite a few threads that have gone on for years with a mixture of information that has evolved over time that are really quite interesting.

For example a query about care plans and nursing diagnosis, I will suggest to search for threads by GrnTea or Esme and (try to) post link to the most recent threads with information relevant to the poster's needs. (I can't always link from the app) These posts are often desperate students massively confused who may get more confused by the volume of information in a search. At least pointing the student in the right direction... I will also report to have staff move student threads posted in the general or wrong forum to the more appropriate student forums.

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tbbtpeach works as a Nursing Student.

2,434 Visitors; 94 Posts

I love this post. When I was accepted into my Nursing Program, I was so excited and had a ton of random questions. I searched them on AN and did have good luck in finding some answers. However, I had some general questions with certain specifics implanted in there. Well, I excitedly awaited a response, gleefully clicked my little notification button and to my dismay, there was simply a rude reply of, "This has been asked countless times. Use the search button and stop wasting everyone's time and clogging up the forums on here with redundant questions." I was brought up to keep my mouth shut if I didn't have anything helpful to say. That's what some members on AN need to learn.

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