Nursing and social media: Facebook policy for healthcare professionals

vera_averina

Vera Averina

By Vera Averina, Product Manager, Gannett Education

There isn’t a better place than Facebook when it comes to addressing social media issues. Last week we posted a question on our page, “Is it a violation to post a Facebook picture of a nursing home resident?” The whopping number of replies (you can check all of the 900+ comments here) from “If you don’t know the answer, you have no business being a nurse,” to, “They should put this question on the NCLEX,” made us want to explore this topic further by challenging your knowledge of social media policies with a quiz below and providing additional resources on this hot topic.

Read this case study and let us know your answers in the comments box.

Mary, age 22, has hundreds of friends from high school on Facebook. While on the surgical unit in the only hospital in her hometown, she took care of her former high school chemistry teacher. She later wrote about it on Facebook and her discomfort when she had to catheterize him after his prostate surgery. She never mentioned the teacher’s name, but word got around town about his hospitalization and Mary was fired.

1 ) Mary was fired because of:

A. Mentioning discomfort with catheterization
B. Providing enough information to identify the patient
C. Mentioning her job on Facebook
D. Taking care of a patient who had been a teacher

2 ) Suppose Mary had not been assigned to care for her ex-teacher. Which action would be considered a HIPAA violation on her part?

A. Saying hello to the teacher in the hall
B. Greeting other former teachers who came in to visit
C. Helping a visitor find the teacher’s room
D. Viewing the teacher’s medical records

3) Mary’s hospital has a social media policy. Breaking which guideline probably related most directly to her firing?

A. Avoid using your hospital e-mail as your primary means of identification
B. Do not engage in social media activities during work
C. Do not use hospital equipment for your social media purposes
D. Be aware that employees are personally responsible for everything they post on Facebook.

Check your answers and become a Facebook expert with our CE course:
Facebook – know the policy before posting.  This course is free till March 16, 2014.


Additional continuing education resources:

Social media: Give your career a boost.

Networking for nurses: Is it important? This course is free till March 24, 2014

Networking for career advancement.  This course is free till Dec. 31, 2013

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