Professionalism and Social MediaSocial media plays a significant role in the lives of nurses in both their professional and personal lives. Additionally, social media is now considered a mainstream pa

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Professionalism and Social MediaSocial media plays a significant role in the lives of nurses in both their professional and personal lives. Additionally, social media is now considered a mainstream part of the process for recruiting and hiring candidates. Inappropriate or unethical conduct on social media can create legal problems for nurses as well as the field of nursing.Login to all social media sites in which you engage. Review your profile, pictures and posts. Based on the professional standards of nursing, identify items that would be considered unprofessional and potentially detrimental to your career and that negatively impact the reputation of the nursing field.In 500-750 words, summarize the findings of your review. Include the following: Describe the posts or conversations in which you have engaged that might be considered inappropriate based on the professional standards of nursing. Discuss why nurses have a responsibility to uphold a standard of conduct consistent with the standards governing the profession of nursing at work and in their personal lives. Include discussion of how personal conduct can violate HIPAA or be considered unethical or unprofessional. Provide an example of each to support your answer. Based on the analysis of your social media, discuss what areas of your social media activity reflect Christian values as they relate to respecting human value and dignity for all individuals.Describe areas of your social media activity that could be improved.Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

Professionalism and Social MediaSocial media plays a significant role in the lives of nurses in both their professional and personal lives. Additionally, social media is now considered a mainstream pa
How Nurses Should Be Using Social Media October 10, 2018, by #EveryNurse In today’s technology-based society, we enjoy easy access to myriad sources of digital communication and information. Professions such as nursing often employ social media as an increasingly effective, wide-ranging tool. However, along with this resource comes great responsibility. As nurses navigate social networking sites, chat rooms, blogs, and public forums, they – sometimes unknowingly – approach a dangerously thin line between professional and personal online etiquette and even run the risk of breaking federal and/or state laws. Healthcare employees are tasked not only with maintaining patient confidentiality and privacy, but also serve to represent their place of employment in a positive manner. Inappropriate use of social media can lead to disciplinary action, which can, in the most serious cases, negatively affect both a nurse’s career and his/her licensure. Privacy Issues Regarding Nurses Using Social Media Passage of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) means that patients hold the rights over their own health information, and it establishes rules and limits as to who can receive it. HIPAA calls this kind of privacy information “protected health information” and defines it as anything “transmitted or maintained in electronic media or any other form of media.” According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), confidential information can be shared only under three specific circumstances: 1) the patient has provided informed consent; 2) in situations in which it’s legally required, or 3) when failure to disclose the information could result in significant harm. Any breach of trust associated with the nurse-patient relationship can have repercussions, and it can damage the overall trustworthiness of the nurse, the organization in which the violation occurred, and the nursing profession as a whole. Breaches of patient confidentiality or privacy on social media platforms (whether intentional or inadvertent) can occur in many different forms, including: Videos or photos of patients – even if they can’t be identified Photos or videos that reveal room numbers or patient records Descriptions of patients, their medical conditions, and/or treatments Referring to patients in a degrading or demeaning manner A violation of patient confidentiality occurs as soon as a nurse shares information (or even the slightest detail – no matter how insignificant) online with someone who is not authorized to receive such information. Examples include reflecting on the severity of a car accident victim’s injuries or commenting on the amount of medication that a patient has been prescribed. Positive Ways a Nurse Can Use Social Media Research evidence reported by the Institute for Healthcare Communication notes that “strong positive relationships” between nurses and other healthcare personnel help patients follow through with the recommendations by the medical team and even self-manage their health. Since positive interactions are beneficial to the patient/nurse relationship, how can you, as a nurse, take advantage of it? According to research compiled by Duquesne University’s School of Nursing, some 90 percent of adults use mobile technology, with 71 percent utilizing video-sharing platforms. Moreover, Forbes magazine reports that 60 percent of doctors regard social media as an “avenue for delivering better healthcare to patients.” Debi Deerwester, chief clinical officer and vice president of clinical operations at WhiteGlove Health, notes that nurses can utilize social media in many ways advantageous to the healthcare field. Nurses can write and maintain blogs, post healthcare information on Twitter and Facebook, and upload to and/or view visual content on YouTube ‒ all aimed at promoting the nursing profession by educating the public. Obviously, interactive media has become a powerful form of communication in the nursing field. Blogs John Lincoln of internet marketing company Ignite Visibility suggests that increasing their visibility through an online presence can help nurses advance in their career, leading, in some case, to a promotion and/or a raise. Additionally, Brittney Wilson, BSN, RN, says on her blog, The Nerdy Nurse, that maintaining and reading blogs gives nurses the opportunity to “teach others… inspire others… and… find support.” In addition to promoting their value within the workplace, nurses also can use social media to promote their personal health-related endeavors and interests. Blogging, Wilson adds, can be a way to “build your personal brand online…. You can make a name for yourself and stand out in your profession.” Not only can you build a reputable presence on your blog, but, as Wilson goes on to say, you may even be able to use it as a means of earning extra income as a wellness expert or health coach, using your professional credentials to establish your credibility. Twitter Twitter, a popular real-time form of communication, is one of the easiest ways to maintain contact with others, especially in times of crisis. From posting health safety notices to explaining drug recall information to answering emergency questions, nurses can provide quick responses and critical assistance to the public. The Pew Research Center (@pewresearch), reports that “social media use is ubiquitous across genders, races, and nearly every other demographic.” Via Twitter, nurses have the potential to disseminate quality healthcare information to the “313 million adults worldwide with Twitter accounts,” reports Toni Gallo for the American Academy for Medical Colleges. Twitter also is an effective way to create a health-related conversation with the public or get a healthcare-related topic trending. In nursing schools, students learn the hashtags (#rnchat, #nurse, #hcIT, #hcmktg, among many others) most likely to lead to effective communication on Twitter, create awareness about preventative health campaigns, find employment, stay up to date on technological advancements, etc. Facebook As of December 2018, Facebook had 2.32 billion users worldwide. On Facebook, nurses have the ability to leave messages (both public and private), upload videos, and post photos; in short, they can connect with others on many different levels. This type of immediate, personal communication gives nurses the opportunity to help bridge the information gap between healthcare providers and patients. “There is an inherent need within healthcare to pass information on to a particular patient and to connect with a patient on a level that promotes, not only biological health but also psychological health and community health,” says Ben Miller, a student at Vanderbilt Law. James Gillespie of the Center for Healthcare Innovation and Chief Executive David Ormesher reported in Clinical Leader that healthcare providers can use [Facebook] to effectively “partner with patients, families, and communities to effectively meet the needs of patients,” providing a platform that allows nursing professionals to provide the patient-centered care necessary for optimal treatment. YouTube The visual and audio aspects of YouTube have a profound effect on a viewer’s understanding of healthcare, medical concerns, surgical procedures, and other treatments. Watching nursing vloggers on YouTube gives nurses with varying levels of experience and education the ability to stay on top of current trends and issues in nursing. Nurse vloggers work in a specific area of nursing, giving you the scoop on trending topics in nursing in a way that only someone in the trenches can. “I use YouTube to broadcast educational videos about anesthesia school,” says Angelis. “In general, social media can be a positive force to enhance the role of nursing in the community and the perception of nursing among our friends and the public at large.” Since literally millions of videos go live every day with “hundreds or even thousands of nursing channels to choose from,” nurses in any area of the world can gain valuable insight and receive educational opportunities that may not be available in their area. Discussion Groups Social media also provides nurses with an outlet through which they can connect with other healthcare professionals for personal, emotional, and educational reasons. From receiving tips on how to cope with workplace stress to answering questions about advanced nursing degree programs, nurses can find many nurse-specific online groups to join or participate in. For instance, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses provides links to a variety of discussion groups where nurses can find answers to questions, communicate with other nurses and share information. “Social media groups can provide support and help nurses stay positive even in hard times,” says Lincoln. “By following the right social media feeds… nurses can get the latest medical news.” For links to some existing feeds, see the American Journal of Nursing’s list here. According to Greene, nurses who interact with others across social media channels also have an opportunity to “humanize the nursing profession.” Examples include spotlighting employer achievements, sharing nurse profiles, and providing one-on-one communication. How Nurses Should NOT Use Social Media “From a legal perspective, nurses using social media to reach out to patients pose a few major privacy issues,” says Miller. “Since most social media systems present security problems (in how they’re ‘built,’ infrastructure, and/or how the user interacts with the specific social media system), open sharing of sensitive and confidential information leads to conflict with HIPAA.” “Most of these social media systems (such as Facebook) are not as privacy-forward as we believe,” Miller says. “Even something as simple as texts among nurses about a specific patient raises huge privacy issues.” Moreover, social media platforms often create a false sense of security for nurses who believe they are voicing their opinions, engaging in discussions, and posting images while under the protection of privacy settings. However, anything sent privately to an individual or posted on a closed forum has the potential to become public knowledge. Additionally, deleting statements and images from a social media account does not mean they have been completely removed from the internet. Posts on social media have the potential to become public record that exists forever. As a rule of thumb, nurses should not use social media to: Complain About or Comment About Patients The American Nursing Association warns against making disparaging remarks about patients (even if they’re not identified by name) to avoid problems with social media. “Do not talk about how rude a patient is, how bad they look, or how unhealthy they are… it will find a way to leak out, and even if it doesn’t, it causes others to view you in less professional nature, as well as the institution you are associated with,” says Lincoln. “It can also damage others’ perception of your character.” Post Photographs on Social Media When she shared a picture of a messy trauma room on Instagram after a patient was treated, an emergency room nurse at New York Presbyterian Hospital was fired from a job she had held for seven years. Even a seemingly innocuous post on social media can result in repercussions and dismissal from your place of employment. A Missouri nurse was fired for posting a photo of herself and her husband wearing blackface while dressed as Beyoncé and Jay-Z for Halloween on her personal Facebook page. The photo, which has since been removed and the Facebook account closed, was circulated online. Rant About Place of Employment Because of the nature of the work, nurses who make negative posts on social media about coworkers, administrators, job duties, their place of employment, and/or workplace policies run the risk of disciplinary actions. These types of online negative comments reflect poorly on the hospital or doctor’s office in which the nurse is affiliated, as well as jeopardize her or his job security. Even when opinions are voiced under the strictest privacy settings, the possibility always exists that online commentary can reach unintended readers. To reduce the chance of violating workplace policies – even accidentally – you are highly recommended to use your personal email address as a primary means of identification on social media accounts instead of an email address associated with a hospital or your place of employment. Additionally, when writing a blog or participating in online activities that have the potential to negatively impact the reputation (or go against the policies of a healthcare employer), avoid establishing a direct connection to the place of employment. For this reason, many nurses comment anonymously or use a pseudonym to write blog posts. Blow Off Work-Related Steam Because of the visibility that social media platforms provide, Lincoln says it’s critical for nurses to maintain composure and professionalism at all times. “One of the most important things for a nurse to avoid is speaking negatively about a patient on social media,” he says. “This might seem like a no-brainer, but everyone gets frustrated at times, and in many cases in medical situations, a nurse may feel overwhelmed.” Lincoln stresses that you refrain from saying anything negative about “patient interaction, the prospect of patient recovery, or even just a generally bad day on the job.” Use Offensive Language and/or Voice Offensive Comments Nurses work with a diverse patient population from a wide range of economic, racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. Social media comments that are considered threatening, harassing, profane, obscene, sexually explicit, racially derogatory, homophobic, or controversial are often grounds for discipline at the workplace. Social Media Policies An increasing number of hospitals, medical facilities, and healthcare employers are in the process of developing and implementing their own social media policies, including institutions as prestigious as the American Medical Association, the Cleveland Clinic, the Mayo Clinic, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and Kaiser Permanente. In fact, to stress the importance of the issue, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) publishes a white paper, “A Nurse’s Guide to the Use of Social Media” Additionally, the HIPAA Journal provides a compliance checklist for organizations to review to ensure their continued compliance with all HIPAA regulations regarding the security and privacy of confidential patient data. Lincoln says that Massachusetts General Hospital’s social media policies are an example of having “really done it right.” Not only does Mass General have social media guidelines in place for its employees, but it also has implemented a policy for those who interact with the hospital on social media. Lincoln restates his policy: “I am a strong believer that every company should have a social media policy in place…. This can help avoid legal issues and give employees and clients a clear perspective on what the company is comfortable with being shared online.” Consequences of Social Media Abuse The consequences of posting improper or inappropriate posts on social media platforms can lead to varying levels of discipline – all of which are dependent upon the action in question, workplace regulations, and any social media policies already in effect. For example, not only can a medical facility take action against a nurse who has violated a patient’s privacy, but the state board of nursing can undertake measures as well. Additionally, it’s not uncommon for legal and criminal investigations to take place when a nurse crosses the line. Disciplinary actions that individuals can face include: Fines Suspension Required sensitivity training Expulsion from nursing school Termination of employment Loss of licensure Criminal charges Jail time The most serious offenses often involve law enforcement, which, is some cases, are referred to the FBI for investigation of HIPAA violations, as evidenced in the 2018 firing of a nurse at Texas Children’s Hospital who posted a “series of comments on Facebook about a rare case of measles at the hospital.” Nurses who abuse social media (as well as digital and electronic media while on the job, such as taking cellphone pictures of patients) can cause their employer also to come under scrutiny and suffer consequences. After numerous employees, including two doctors, at a Pennsylvania hospital took photos and videos of a patient in the emergency room suffering from a genital injury, the facility was cited by the Pennsylvania Department of Health for multiple HIPAA violations. Even if a nurse gains permission from a patient to take pictures, authorities can still take action. According to, at least 50 employees, including nurses, at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, were fired in May 2019 after they allegedly viewed actor Jessie Smollett’s medical records after he was treated at the hospital. Apparently, the employees were simply curious about the case, but improperly viewing patient medical files for any reason is considered a HIPAA violation. In conclusion, social media policies for nurses continue to evolve to align with advancements in technology and the internet. The key to successfully navigating the ups and downs that come with having an online presence is to find a happy, safe, and responsible middle ground between the personal and professional benefits of social media without breaking the laws governing patient privacy and confidentiality. Nurses must remain vigilant to avoid inadvertently disclosing patient- and workplace-related information via social media as well as to keep up with current workplace policies and relevant state and federal laws.
Professionalism and Social MediaSocial media plays a significant role in the lives of nurses in both their professional and personal lives. Additionally, social media is now considered a mainstream pa
Journal of Healthcare Communications  [email protected] Submit a Manuscript Home Articles Authors Editors In Detail Information Citations Contact Us Special Issue RSS Top of Form Bottom of Form Reach Us   +44 7480022449 Nursing Professionalism: Impact of Social Media Use among Nursing Students Windon Edge* Department of Nursing, School of Health Professions and Wellness, Jacksonville State University, USA *Corresponding Author: Windon EdgeAssistant Professor of NursingSchool of Health Professions and WellnessDepartment of NursingJacksonville State University, USATel: (256) 782 8520 /(256) 312 1992E-mail: [email protected] Received Date: April 26, 2017; Accepted Date: May 08, 2017; Published Date: May 15, 2017 Citation: Edge W. Nursing Professionalism: Impact of Social Media Use among Nursing Students. J Healthc Commun. 2017, 2:3. doi: 10.4172/2472-1654.100068   Visit for more related articles at Journal of Healthcare Communications Abstract Social media usage among young adults has increasingly become a method, by which, most every aspect of personal life are publicly communicated. Observations of these communications can quickly reveal one’s political, social, and professional viewpoints. Some human resource departments screen applicant’s public social media profiles as part of the hiring process. In a Society for Human Resource Management 2013 survey, 22% of respondents indicated that they use social media websites, such as Facebook or Instagram to research job applicants. The nursing profession is not immune to these types of recruitment and hiring practices. Due to a nursing shortage, nurse recruiters within hospital human resources departments often find that filling vacancies in some nursing units can be difficult. Keywords Social media; Nursing; Healthcare facilities Introduction According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a projected increased change in nursing employment of 16% from 2014 to 2024. Screening nursing applicants for professional social media communication can confound an already challenging process of filling positions within healthcare facilities. Therefore, nursing educators will need to consider providing more extensive guidance to students related to creating a professional social media impression [1,2]. Most schools of nursing emphasize the avoidance of violating provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). These laws are typically reviewed with students and written into confidentiality and social media policies within the school’s student handbook. However, to a much lesser extent, nursing students are provided with detailed guidance on using social media that exhibits the professional standards that healthcare employers demand. Consequently, young adults in nursing school can, unknowingly, be vulnerable to social media mistakes and potential negative results when seeking to secure employment in the healthcare industry. In one study, 77% of schools of nursing had encountered at least one occurrence of students posting unprofessional content on social media [3]. This seemingly high rate of incidents suggests that some young adults fail to recognize the influence of social platforms in the world today and the potential consequences in their professional life. Some of these misconceptions may be the result of students being unaware of the potential viewers of their social media content [4]. In the formative years of middle and high school, many students often perceive the viewers of their social media content to be friends or acquaintances within their social circle. Unfortunately, these perceptions of social media often persist into adulthood, unaware of the increasing number of people viewing their social media content as they enter into the healthcare profession [5]. Additionally, these students may be oblivious of the intent of these new viewers within the profession. Many educators often view that social media policies for students are inadequate to properly educate or address professionalism issues. Providing details and examples of every potential pitfall in social media are difficult to provide within the confines of a single student policy [6]. Therefore, nursing students can remain unqualified to discern what constitutes content that may be viewed as unprofessional even after being made aware of the existing policy or recommendations. Social Media Mistakes As previously mentioned, confidentiality issues within the clinical forum are generally addressed in the school’s student policy handbook. However, some students do not understand that avoiding the use of patient names is not a guarantee of anonymity and complete compliance with confidentiality policies or HIPAA laws [7]. Details of a diagnosis, procedure, or emergency medical event in the clinical setting can lead to inadvertent disclosure of the patient’s identity among social media viewers familiar with the healthcare facility [8]. This can be the case, in which, the student lives and has social media friends within the community where the clinical site is located. This situation can create an opportunity for social media followers to discern the identity of the patient simply by being aware of a co-worker’s or associate’s hospitalization in the local hospital and general health circumstances. Discussing details of such medical information as a learning opportunity should remain within the confines of the post-clinical debriefing. Among healthcare employers, these types of posts could be viewed as reckless and narrowly bordering upon a breach of confidentiality. Argumentative behaviors within a social media post are often poorly understood among some students. Students often view these types of posts as a simply expression of their personal, political, or social viewpoints. While students have the right to express their views in the public forum of social media, some interactions can evolve into perceived personal attacks on others with opposing views. Human resource specialists reviewing social media content of potential applicants could interpret this behavior as a tendency to be difficult to work with others or possess the potential to create a hostile work environment [9]. It is important to guide students in the acceptable methods of expressing views within the confines of professional, public discourse. While some users of social media hold passionate views on a variety of topics, any perception of disrespect of the views of others can be viewed negatively and as being unprofessional for those in the nursing profession [10]. References to alcohol or drug use would seem to be obvious topics to avoid in social media for students pursuing a professional nursing degree [11]. However, students unfamiliar with the importance of maintaining a professional profile can struggle as they attempt to separate personal and profession boundaries. Within social media, these boundaries do not exist as each post is typically viewed on its own merit and as a reflection of the user’s personal and professional traits. The formation of these perceived traits are not limited to the mention of such behavior within the text of a social media post [12]. Pictures depicting these behaviors can, in many cases, be viewed as more expressive of one’s tendencies than the words themselves. A photo of a student consuming an alcoholic beverage during spring break might be viewed by some as acceptable. However, this may lead potential employers to question the applicant’s judgment or ability to remain unimpaired. Additionally, a patient or patient’s family viewing this content may develop a view of the student that is inconsistent with typical attributes of a professional nurse. Altered levels of trust can negatively impact the nursing student’s ability to participate in the care of a patient or a family’s loved one. Inappropriate humor within social media posts can be detrimental to a nursing student’s professional reputation [13]. While a good sense of humor is typically seen as a positive attribute, humorous posts that involve race, religion, sexual inferences, or foul language can be seen as a professional liability in the healthcare industry. The ability to provide unbiased and non-judgmental nursing care to the community is important to healthcare employers. Hospitals and clinics do not wish to have inappropriate attributes of their associates to become a reflection of their organization. Social media platforms are often used to express reviews or complaints about businesses or services. Healthcare facilities can also be the subject of positive or negative commentary. Like most businesses, healthcare facilities have processes for managing complaints or concerns from patients or families. However, continuous or aggressive complaints within one’s social media platform can create an impression of the inability to manage anger and utilize appropriate channels to file grievances or express concerns. Nursing students or new graduate nurses seeking employment can be labeled a “trouble-maker” and can become undesirable as a potential employee. Negative posts by nursing students related to a clinical site can jeopardize partnerships with schools of nursing. This can be detrimental to nursing education as a shortage of acceptable clinical sites for nursing schools are a problem in many locations. Conclusion Communication in healthcare within social media platforms can have important implications to the nursing profession. Inappropriate social media communication can complicate efforts of nursing students to find employment after graduation. To alleviate the shortage of nurses, the healthcare system needs newly graduated nurses to be employable in a variety of settings. Maintaining the traditional view of a nurse as professional and trustworthy requires that nursing students receive detailed guidance on the nuances of social media communication. Young adults entering nursing education programs are often unprepared to completely comprehend the impact of their social media interactions. While confidentiality and professionalism in electronic communication are addressed in most all nursing programs, there needs to be greater emphasis on social media communication and the perceptions that each post or interaction can generate within a more detailed curriculum. References Segal JA (2014) Social media use in hiring: Assessing the risks. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2015) Registered nurses: Job outlook. Mamocha S, Mamocha MR, Pillow T (2015) Unprofessional content posted online among nursing students. Nurse Educator 40: 119-123. George Dr, Rovniak LS, Kraschnewski JL (2015) Dangers and opportunities for social media in medicine. Clin Obstet Gynecol 56: 10. Ventola CL (2014) Social Media and Health Care Professionals: Benefits, Risks, and Best Practices. PT 39: 491-499. Denecke K, Bamidis P, Bond C, Gabarron E, Househ M, et al. (2015) Ethical Issues of Social Media Usage in Healthcare. Yearb Med Inform 10: 137-147. Goldstein MM, Pewen WF (2013) The HIPAA Omnibus Rule: Implications for Public Health Policy and Practice. Public Health Rep 128: 554-558. Reiling J (2006) Safe design of healthcare facilities. Qual Saf Health Care 15: 34-40. Newton J, Hunt J, Stirling J (1996) Human resource management in general practice: survey of current practice. Br J Gen Pract 46: 81-85. Yazdannik A, Yekta ZP, Soltani A (2012) Nursing professional identity: an infant or one with Alzheimer. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res 17: S178-S186. Guraya SY (2016) The Usage of Social Networking Sites by Medical Students for Educational Purposes: A Meta-analysis and Systematic Review. N Am J Med Sci 8: 268-278. Griffis HM, Kilaru AS, Werner RM, Asch DA, Hershey JC, et al. (2014) Use of Social Media Across US Hospitals: Descriptive Analysis of Adoption and Utilization. J Med Internet Res 16: e264. Tseng CN, Hsieh CJ, Chen KH, Lou MF (2013) Comparative study of an externship program versus a corporate-academic cooperation program for enhancing nursing competence of graduating students. BMC Med Educ 13: 108.

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