Professionalism and Social Media
Professionalism and Social Media
Conversations that may be considered inappropriate
After reviewing my social media sites, I have seen that I have made several posts on my patients’ conditions to seek professional opinions from colleagues. However, I have not mentioned their names but only a description of their medical condition. These posts can be considered inappropriate based on professional nursing standards. As indicted by Balestra (2018), social media [posts that violate patient confidentiality and privacy such as details that may make them identifiable or negative remarks about patients are unprofessional. Even when these posts are made with the best intention like attempting to seek professional opinions from coworkers about patient care, it is unprofessional conduct.
Why nurses have a responsibility to uphold a standard of conduct
Nurses have the responsibility to uphold a standard of conduct consistent with the standards governing the profession and personal lives to avoid breaching the rights of the patient to privacy and confidentiality. As Charry and Jacob (2018) indicate, patients retain their right to privacy and confidentiality in all mediums. Nurses must be very cautious in not utilizing the name of a patient, as well as careful not to transmit or place individually protected health information online. Such information might entail the name of the healthcare facility, room number, geographical location or the diagnosis, gender and age of the patient. Violations of privacy and confidentiality can occur intentionally or deliberately and can happen in numerous ways. Nurses might violate privacy or confidentiality with information that they post on social media sites. Examples might include posting photos or videos of patients, describing patients in a demeaning or degrading way or comments that describe patients with adequate details that can make them be identified.
Personal conduct can violate HIPAA or considered unprofessional or unethical if a nurse’s interaction with patients on social media fails to comply with the ethically prescribed professional boundaries between the nurse and the patient. Personal conduct can also be considered unethical or unprofessional if a nurse discusses his or her organization, patients, families or colleagues online. For example, posting harassing or negative comments or complaints about your organization, coworkers, families or patients can be regarded as unprofessional and unethical conduct (Hunt, 2015). Personal conduct can violate HIPAA if it exposes a patient’s confidential information without consent from the patient. According to Hunt (2015), healthcare providers are expected to protect privacy and confidentiality and since nurses have access to patients’ personal information and medical records, they must be cautious not to disclose information that could identify patients.
Social media activity that reflects Christian values
My areas of social media activity that reflect Christian values as they relate to respecting human value and dignity for all individuals include respecting patients’ privacy and confidentiality. I understand that patient privacy is an important legal and ethical responsibility of a nurse. I observe patient confidentiality and privacy standards online. As a nurse, my primary commitment is to the patient, and I have the ethical obligation of practicing with compassion while respecting the inherent value and dignity of every person.
The areas of my social media activity that could be improved include removing any person’s identifying information when making a post or comment on any social media forum. This de-identification can go along long with omitting or changing details about the patient like age and avoiding describing medical conditions. Another area I could improve is avoiding online communication with my patients. Health care professionals interacting with patients on social media might be breaching the health care provider-patient boundary even when online communication is initiated by the patient. Ventola (2014) asserts that it is imprudent for health care providers to have interactions with through social media forums. Additionally, organizational policy usually does not support online communication between patients and health care professionals.
Balestra, M. (2018). Social media missteps could put your nursing risk at risk. American Nurse Today, 13(3), 20-21.
Charry, B., & Jacob, S. (2018). Contemporary Nursing E-Book: Issues, Trends, & Management. New York: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Hunt, D. (205). The Nurse Professional: Leveraging Your Education for Transition into Practice. New York: Springer
Ventola, C. (2014). Social Media and Health Care Professionals: Benefits, Risks, and Best Practices. Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 39(7), 491-499.
Professionalism and Social Media
Social media plays a significant role in the lives of nurses in both their professional and personal lives. Additionally, social media is now considered a mainstream part of the process for recruiting and hiring candidates. Inappropriate or unethical conduct on social media can create legal problems for nurses as well as the field of nursing.
Login to all social media sites in which you engage. Review your profile, pictures and posts. Based on the professional standards of nursing, identify items that would be considered unprofessional and potentially detrimental to your career and that negatively impact the reputation of the nursing field.
In 500-750 words, summarize the findings of your review. Include the following:
Describe the posts or conversations in which you have engaged that might be considered inappropriate based on the professional standards of nursing.
Discuss why nurses have a responsibility to uphold a standard of conduct consistent with the standards governing the profession of nursing at work and in their personal lives. Include discussion of how personal conduct can violate HIPAA or be considered unethical or unprofessional. Provide an example of each to support your answer.
Based on the analysis of your social media, discuss what areas of your social media activity reflect Christian values as they relate to respecting human value and dignity for all individuals. Describe areas of your social media activity that could be improved.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
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