Empowering Nurses at the Bedside and in Business

Empowered Use of Social Media for Nurses

I am so excited to share this really cool resource with you.  Recently, I was at the Sigma Theta Tau Conference in Indianapolis where I picked up a book titled “The Nerdy Nurse’s Guide To Technology.”  I love the term “nerdy nurse.”  The Nerdy Nurse is actually Brittney Wilson, RN who has a really interesting story about her nursing past and I encourage you to check her out at www.thenerdynurse.com.

Brittney talks about how nurses can use social media.  She’s sort of a technological geek, something I wish I could be.  All of this stuff was not available when I was in nursing school so I’m relying on my kids to teach me all about it.

Because social media is so big in our society, I wanted to share some tips with you on how you can protect yourself.

Recently, I’ve heard of several cases involving social media where nurses posted confidential patient information and subsequently got in trouble with the licensing board.

Always ask yourself, before considering the posting of anything, what is the benefit of my posting?  What am I trying to accomplish?

It’s so easy these days to type something out in anger or frustration and click a button without thinking it through.  Remember that Facebook and Twitter are public forums so even if you have your privacy setting placed so that other people can’t see your post, they can still be shared.  I have had situations where attorneys had subpoenaed Facebook records for personal injury or medical malpractice victims.  So, anything that you don’t want to be public, DON’T POST!

I also know attorneys who search Facebook to find information about potential jurors.  I assume the same would be true for a potential employer.  Therefore, keep in mind that anything that you don’t want a potential employer to look at, don’t put it on Facebook.

Aside from this book, which I am excited to read and from which I will continue to cull tips to forward on to you, I want to share another resource.  The American Nurses Association published a white paper on the use of social media for nurses.  That is another resource for you to check to know how nurses can responsibly use social media.

So, your assignment for now is that every time you post something on social media, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or whatever, think about whether you are disclosing confidential information and ask yourself about the purpose in doing that communication.  If a potential employer were to see your posting, how would you feel?

Just some things to think about in the information age in our society.

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