Dos and don’ts of social media use for nurses

September 3, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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Like it or not, anyone who uses open social media platforms to communicate their thoughts and feelings is going to be judged by everybody who reads their posts. While this may not necessarily have to bother you too much, it is important to remember that the nursing profession is a highly respected one and you should uphold this respect. This means that you need to take a closer look at what you are posting online.

All set for observation in the operating room! Social media dos

Just because you have become a nurse doesn’t meant that you stop using social media altogether. In fact, there are a number of ways in which you can improve your social image by bringing more respect for your profession. Here are a few things you can and should do online:

Be proud that you are a nurse: It is always nice to spread a positive message about nursing. Since this field has so much to show off about, there are a number of ways to spread the news about nursing through your social media presence by posting uplifting news articles, breakthroughs in medicine or updates in the nursing field.

Post updates about cool stuff at work: If you want to keep your friends updated about what you are doing in life, you can post updates about any cool stuff that may be happening in your workplace. Has your workplace taken up a new cause? Has a co-worker been interviewed in the paper? All these things deserve to be given a little extra recognition and you can do your bit by spreading the word.

Always trust your gut feeling: If there is a post that feels a little wrong or inappropriate, go with your gut and refrain from posting it or sharing it with others. Stay as far away from controversies on the internet as possible.

Social media don’ts

Now that you are a professional working in a respected profession, try to avoid those moments where others will cringe if they see a post online. Here are some major no-no’s when it comes to social media:

Don’t bash your workplace: Workplace bashing is a big no-no in any industry including the healthcare industry. Think about it this way. One day you may be looking for a new job and someone may see an old post where you have spoken badly about your old workplace. This could make them re-think about hiring you in case you speak badly about your new workplace as well. This generally creates a bad impression and does not reflect well on your personality.

Don’t violate any HIPAA rules: Read through all the patient privacy rules before you post anything that concerns your work. Not being aware of the rules is no excuse and violating patient privacy can be a serious infraction that does not bode well for your future career. 

Refrain from using hashtags for compromising pictures: Everyone needs to let their hair down sometimes and you may decide to go for a night out with some other nurses from the hospital. But if you take any picture, especially those with alcohol or with you in a compromising position, remember not to give these pictures any hashtags that will connect you with work. Patients may come across these pictures and it will not reflect well on your workplace.