Social media has gained popularity across different workforces as more people have continued to join the platforms for various reasons. Nurses and other healthcare professionals have not been left behind as they use social media for networking reasons, to hold interactive forums concerning care issues, to post health blogs, and to learn and communicate with other healthcare professionals globally (Social Media Assessment).
While social media affects the nurses’ personal lives, it also affects their professional practice concerning professional boundaries, confidentiality, professional image/reputation, and licensing and legal issues. This paper will identify my social items classified as inappropriate based on professional standards of nursing, describe nurses’ responsibility in upholding professional standards, and analyze social areas that reflect Christian values.
Conversations/Posts considered Inappropriate
After reviewing my social media platforms, I noted some inappropriate posts and conversations in nursing professional standards. I once posted a story on Facebook about how some patients make illogical decisions in their care. I had encountered a patient who declined dialysis treatment and preferred to seek spiritual healing(Social Media Assessment).
The patient’s health worsened, and he was later brought for dialysis, although his state now requires a kidney transplant operation. The post discussed the patient’s case with other medical personnel involved, and some of the comments even mentioned the patient’s name and the healthcare facility (Social Media Assessment).
First, the conversation violated the patients’ autonomy, which claims one should be allowed to make decisions involving their care independently if they can do so. The post did not respect the unique attributes of each patient, compassion, and inherent human dignity(Social Media Assessment).
Secondly, the posts violated the third provision that advocates for protecting patients’ health, safety, and rights. Weiss et al. (2019) claim that nurses and other healthcare professionals should not criticize their patients in any way and should not identify their names or photos to human dignity. The post violated the principle of confidentiality and privacy by revealing the patients’ names and that of the healthcare facility.
Nurses Responsibility in Upholding Professional Conduct
Nurses have a professional mandate to uphold ethical and moral obligations. Social media activities affect the nurses’ work-life and their organizations. Therefore, inappropriate posts/conversations and behavior can damage the professional image of nurses and their healthcare facilities’ reputations(Social Media Assessment).
Inappropriate social media content predisposes nurses to risks of fines, temporary or permanent license revocation, or job termination (Fargen et al., 2021). In this case, different social media behaviors are interpreted as unprofessional in nursing practice. For instance, revealing patient’s names or photos and health information is considered an infringement of privacy and confidentiality (Social Media Assessment).
Therefore, a breach of patients’ privacy and confidentiality is unethical since it violates the HIPPA guidelines. The guidelines assert that intentional or unintentional exposure of patient information through social media infringes professional nursing standards (Fargen et al., 2021). For instance, a nurse may post a picture of a conversation about a patient urinating in the medical ward. The post or conversation will be unethical as HIPPA guidelines prohibit nurses and other healthcare professionals from identifying patients beyond or outside the realms of healthcare provision.
Social Media Activity Reflecting Christian Values (Social Media Assessment)
Christian values are vital in the nursing profession towards providing compassionate care and respecting human values and dignity. As a nurse, I am responsible for keeping my patients’ information confidential on my social media platform regardless of ethnicity, race, and nationality (Dellasega & Kanaskie, 2021).
One social media activity on Christian values is that I unconditionally help patients through my education posts and online support concerning care issues. I provide emotional support and empathy through words of encouragement. Hence, improving the state of my patients and families to alleviate their pain and suffering(Social Media Assessment).
However, I need to improve several areas of my social media. Consequently, I will encourage patients not to disclose personal or health-identifiable information on social media. Moreover, by redirecting them to more secure professional networking platforms like LinkedIn. Consequently, I must also improve my response to other people’s social media posts. I must be more critical and analytical before replying to conversations to protect my professional image and stand. Moreover, I also need to update my social media profiles by ensuring that my photos align with established ethical standards and the patient-centric image of a healthcare practitioner.
Dellasega, C., & Kanaskie, M. L. (2021). Nursing ethics in an era of pandemic. Applied nursing research: ANR, 62, 151508. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apnr.2021.151508
Fargen, K. M., Lee, S. K., Mokin, M., Kayan, Y., De Leacy, R., Al-Mufti, F., … & Hetts, S. W. (2021). Social media usage for neurointerventionalists: report of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery Standards and Guidelines Committee. Journal of Neurointerventional Surgery, 13(7), 674-678. https://jnis.bmj.com/content/neurintsurg/13/7/674.full.pdf
Weiss, S. A., Tappen, R. M., & Grimley, K. (2019). Essentials of nursing leadership & management. FA Davis. https://ds.amu.edu.et/xmlui/bitstream/handle/123456789/16410/Essentials_of_Nursing_Leadership_and_Management_Karen_Grimley%2C_Sally.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y