With social media use on the rise, and no signs of it letting up any time soon, it is important for us all to think of it in terms of our professional needs. For nurses, the use of social media can be used in so many capacities beyond the usual photo sharing with family and friends. Whether they are interested in writing/posting themselves, as subject matter experts, or whether they are more interested in learning from others social media can be a valuable tool. It is always recommended to ensure that information is gathered from reputable sources and those with the knowledge you are seeking before trusting the information.
The American Nurses Association came up with 6 principles for nurses using social media, as well as 6 mistakes to avoid and we wanted to make sure and share their suggestions with all of you.
6 Principles for Nurses Social Networking:
- Nurses must not transmit or place online individually identifiable patient information.
- Nurses must observe ethically prescribed professional patient — nurse boundaries.
- Nurses should understand that patients, colleagues, institutions, and employers may view postings.
- Nurses should take advantage of privacy settings and seek to separate personal and professional information online
- Nurses should bring content that could harm a patient’s privacy, rights, or welfare to the attention of appropriate authorities.
- Nurses should participate in developing institutional policies governing online conduct.
6 Tips to Avoid Problems:
- Remember that standards of professionalism are the same online as in any other circumstance.
- Do not share or post information or photos gained through the nurse-patient relationship.
- Maintain professional boundaries in the use of electronic media. Online contact with patients blurs this boundary.
- Do not make disparaging remarks about patients, employers or co-workers, even if they are not identified.
- Do not take photos or videos of patients on personal devices, including cell phones.
- Promptly report a breach of confidentiality or privacy