How (not) to use social networking

Recently I talked about a nurse who made some inappropriate posts to Facebook about this manager and the unit.  I made him look foolish and weak as a charge nurse.  This also got several other members of the team to talk because they obviously thought it was ok since a member of the leadership team was doing the same.

This got me thinking about what would be appropriate for a person to post about their work.

Obviously, never, EVER post any patient information.  This could get you in tons of trouble and possibly cause you to lose your job, and even legal issues.  I know we want to post funny things that happen at work, but do not use patient names, describe them or give any information that could identify them to others.  If for some reason I post something like that, I even try to change the sex of the patient.

When it comes to your boss or job, you may want to get online and complain when you think your boss did something unfair, or when you have a bad day at work.  But try not using their name, your hospital and/or unit name.  This will make your boss, unit and organization look bad to others.  Maybe it is just a personal thing between the two of you and your boss will get along great with somebody else.  It can also give patients an inappropriate view of the type of care they will receive or had received there at one time.

What I would suggest…..keep work at work.  The best way to keep yourself from possibly getting in trouble is to just not talk about it in a public forum.

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Rob Cameron

Rob Cameron is currently a staff nurse in a level II trauma center. He has primarily been an ED nurse for most of his career, but he has also been a nurse manager for Surgical Trauma and Telemetry unit. He has worked in Med/Surg, Critical Care, Hospice, Rehab, an extremely busy cardiology clinic and pretty much anywhere he's been needed.Prior to his career in nursing, Rob worked in healthcare finance and management. Rob feels this experience has given him a perspective on nursing that many never see. He loves nursing because of all the options he has within the field. He is currently a grad student working on an MSN in nursing leadership, and teaches clinicals at a local university.Away from work, Rob spends all of his time with his wife and daughter. He enjoys cycling and Crossfit. He is a die hard NASCAR fan. Sundays you can find Rob watching the race with his daughter.

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4 Responses to How (not) to use social networking

  1. Holly

    I agree with the article, but would like to add one thing. Even if wecomplain on Facebook about an anonymous irritant at work (leaving names out) friends can flip to your info tab and find out where we work (if we’ve filled it out, which a lot of us have). SO even if we are cautious, but still complaining, people tend to figure it out. Then, there goes the image of the place because we’ve had a bad day or bad encounter. Image is everything in the health care business… Yikes.

  2. Rob

    Amen Holly…..glad to see some else gets it.

  3. nursing student

    Our daughter worked for a huge firm in NYC (not medical) and posted some feelings she had regarding her job on her personal website. She later found out the managers had been watching her blog for months, reading what she thought was private. I’ve heard of headhunters who read what we post online, which means we can make or break our own futures if we don’t exercise wisdom with what we say on facebook or any other venue we choose.

    That’s bitten me a few times when I least expected it and from sources I thought were “trustworthy.” Not.

    I guess the simplest way to put it is “don’t write out anything you don’t want quoted at some point in the future.”

  4. Gayle

    Don’t post all your professional information; such as where you work. It could come back at you. Even if your personal life is clean; that ONE thing you say or do can be taken wrong. I don’t post too much about where I work; or pictures of what I do. The wine glass in your hand at a party can be looked at poorly by some future employers and current ones. SO be careful!