Social Media in Healthcare Essay

Social Media in Healthcare Essay

Professionalism and Social Media

After reviewing my social media accounts, I have noticed that some of the content in my page could be regarded as inappropriate. The inappropriate conversations and posts involved discussions about patients’ cases, particularly the unique cases that stand out. For instance, cases in which patients appear to make illogical decisions. An example that stands out is one in which a patient declined to accept dialysis simply because he preferred going to a faith healer. The patient’s medical condition worsened and he was eventually brought in for the dialysis although his condition had worsened to an extent that he required a kidney transplant in order to continue surviving. The social media conversation went on to discuss the patient’s case with other medical personnel, and some of the contributors to the conversation identified the patient’s name and facility in which the case occurred. The conversation was considered inappropriate since it violated five provisions in the nursing code of ethics. Firstly, the conversation violated the first provision concerned with showing compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth and unique attributes of every patient. The conversation did not respect the inherent dignity of the patient (University of Southern Indiana, 2020). Social Media in Healthcare Essay

Secondly, the conversation violated the third provision concerned with promoting, advocating for, and protecting the safety, health and rights of patients. The conversation reveals that the patient’s right to privacy was violated. Thirdly, it violated the fifth provision that is concerned with duties to others to include responsibility to promote safety and health, and preserve integrity and wholeness of character. The conversation did not preserve the nurse’s integrity and wholeness of character as it bordered on ‘gossip’ and discussion of a patient without prior express permission. Fourthly, it violated the sixth provision that is concerned with establishing, maintaining and improving the ethical environment. The nurse acted in an unethical manner by discussing case details and identifying a patient outside the care environment without prior express permission. Finally, the conversation violates the sixth provision by failing to maintain the integrity of the profession and failing to integrate the principles social justice into health and nursing policy (University of Southern Indiana, 2020).


Nurses have a professional responsibility that extends to moral and ethical obligations permeating the profession. The responsibility is identified by standards related to morals, integrity, collaboration with other medical personnel, social change, and patient care. Nurses must be aware of these standards and uphold them since violations could result in disciplinary action by the nursing board or even the loss of license. Through posting inappropriate social media content, nurses reflect adversely on themselves and also the associated medical organization. This is particularly of concern when the content involves the patients’ rights thereby violating HIPAA provisions (Black, 2020). To be more precise, concerns are presented when the social media content includes disparaging remarks about patients, sexually suggestive images, profane and biased language, and infringements on patient confidentiality. For instance, if a patient comes into the medical facility drunk and ends up urinating on himself, then taking a picture of that patient in wet cloths and posting it on social media would be considered a violation of the required standards of conduct. HIPAA is particularly concerned with patient confidentiality with violations that identify the patient outside the strict realms of care provision being considered unprofessional and unethical. Irrespective of whether the information disclosure was intentional or unintentional, it would still be considered a breach of HIPPA regulations (Black, 2020). Social Media in Healthcare Essay

Nurses are expected to keep the medical information of all patients confidential. This is regardless of nationality, ethnicity, medical condition, age, gender and other demographic peculiarities. As a professional nurse, there is an understanding about the professional responsibility and commitment to preserving the dignity and value of all patients while understanding the ethical and moral duty to provide compassionate care that respects the innate dignity and worth of all persons. These understandings are matched with the Christian values of treating others with respect. Breaching the privacy of a patient implies lacking respect for the patient as information that should be kept confidential is instead presented to others without the express permission of the patient (Westrick, 2014).

The social media activity presents some concerns with regards to how to manage relationships. My social media accounts include patients, family and colleagues in my list of acquaintances so that they have access to my conversations and posts. This is an issue of concern since some of the conversations held with family members are not appropriate for patients and medical personnel, and vice versa. This issue can be addressed by creating different social media accounts for specific groups of persons so that appropriate conversations can be held within acceptable boundaries without violating professional standards. This would entail having a different social media page for patients, a different one for family, and a different one for other medical personnel and colleagues (Thielst, 2013).  Social Media in Healthcare Essay


Black, B. (2020). Professional Nursing: Concepts & Challenges (9th ed.). Elsevier.

Thielst, C. (2013). Social Media in Healthcare: Connect, Communicate, Collaborate (2nd ed.). Health Administration Press.

University of Southern Indiana (2020). Nursing Programs: Professional Standards & Behavior.

Westrick, S. (2014). Essentials of Nursing Law and Ethics (2nd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning. Social Media in Healthcare Essay