Should nurses sign off of Facebook?

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Many people can’t imagine life without Facebook, even though it’s only been around since 2004. It’s the most visited website in the world (with just under a eleventy-trillion users)…and you’re probably one of them.

But, as a nurse, you probably have to think more carefully than civilians about how you use Facebook.

Some members of the nursing profession have been more than a tad irresponsible and imprudent with their posts, divulging confidential information about patients and hospital happenings. (Read “Five nurses fired for Facebook postings.”) Does this mean that perhaps you should consider saying goodbye to Facebook for now?

Keep reading and then decide for yourself, because it really comes down to you.

Privacy and confidentiality
The issue of patient privacy and confidentiality is the big one here. The aforementioned five California nurses were discussing their patients on Facebook, but nurses have also been fired for posting X-rays and photographs of patients. For example, in a different California hospital, nurses posted photos of a dying man who arrived in the ER with multiple stab wounds. In the United Kingdom, a nurse posted photos of herself in the OR, holding tissue from a brain surgery patient lying right there on the operating table.

Next: Professionalism →

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