NRS 451 Professionalism and Social Media
NRS 451 Professionalism and Social Media
Social media has become an essential tool in different aspects of life; both professional and personal. Social media plays a critical role in contemporary nursing practice with nurses leveraging it to network with colleagues and share findings from research through both private and open forums. However, social media may also endanger privacy and dignity of patients when nurses expose their information and data leading to disciplinary and even legal actions (Rukavina et al., 2021). For instance, a nurse may post how tiresome their day was; especially patients who may have been irritating. Such posts maybe considered inappropriate based on professional nursing standards set by regulatory bodies like the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) as well as professional organizations like the American Nurses Association (ANA). The purpose of this paper is to review and reflect on my social media posts and activities and if they may be considered unprofessional and in violation of regulatory requirements like HIPAA.
Inappropriate Posts and Conversations
A review of my social media posts and conversations across all the social networks that include Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter show better use of these platforms to share information and new insights as well as network with fellow nurses. However, a few posts emerge that I may consider inappropriate and against the professional conduct of nurses. Though these posts show my private life, they may still have a bearing on my professional growth and overall perception by people, particularly colleagues and patients. In one of the posts, I complained about the working conditions at my workplace, especially the increased workload and the long shifts. While this is a concern for many nurses, posting one’s sentiments directed at their employer may seem inappropriate and unprofessional when there exist ways of dealing.
In another post on Facebook, I shared information about the intrigues of the day with a caption showing inpatient beds in the background. While the post is not explicit, it depicts the healthcare environment and this may demonstrate high levels of ethical and legal violations. As a professional nurse, I should uphold certain standards based on legal and ethical frameworks and regulations. In another Tweet, I complained about an irritating patient who did not even pay their bills yet kept pestering me about his condition. This was also inappropriate since nurses are expected to offer the highest level of quality care and attend to patient needs at all times. Venting out such frustrations and anger may be harmful to patients in general and even the nursing profession.
Responsibility to Uphold a Standard Conduct
Nurses are critical players in health care delivery and must adhere to a standard conduct expected of their professional ethics. The standards governing the nursing profession include a code of ethics and adherence to the requirements of Nurse Practice Act of their respective states and the federal regulations like Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Standards guide and promote the nursing practice and protect patients, especially guaranteeing their safety and privacy. Furthermore, professional standards hold nurses accountable for their actions and ensure that they attain the requisite competence in healthcare delivery.
Professional standards like the code of conduct by the ANA (2022) gives nurses certain ethical and professional requirements that they must uphold to offer quality and reliable care as well as ensure that they not breach aspects like privacy and confidentiality by revealing patient information and data. Nurses must uphold these policies and understand the consequences of non-compliance. In their article, Geraphy et al. (2021) implore nurses to be vigilant concerning the use of social media within their personal and professional lives so that they do not cross the boundaries.
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Personal conduct like posting patients’ images can breach the provisions of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability. Such conduct is considered unprofessional. Posting such content, especially without the consent from patients, violates privacy and confidentiality (O’Connor et al., 2022). HIPAA’s privacy rule is categorical that healthcare providers and organizations should protect and safeguard patient’s data and information. Again, posting my reactions and opinions about the workplace conditions is unprofessional because as a nurse, one should understand the existing organizational channels that can be used to address the issues. Talking negatively about patents is not only unethical but also unprofessional. Breaching patient’s privacy by posting their images and information using social media as well as sharing it with unauthorized third parties also violates HIPAA requirements.
Christian Values &Respect for Human Value and Dignity of All People
Christian values implore healthcare providers to respect the value of human beings and accord them their rightful
dignity. Posting healthcare information and research trends that help promote health and better lifestyles on my social media accounts reflect Christian values related to respecting human value and dignity of all people (Franco et al., 2021). Such information promotes the common good of nurses and patients as well as the general population. Further, posting discussions that focus on improving patient understanding of their role in primary care interventions shows the human value and dignity for all people. Nurses are change agents and promote the health of their patients as well as the populations that they serve (Schmidt & McArthur, 2018). Therefore, posting information on healthy diets and other health promoting activities illustrates the level of human dignity and value that nurses attach to patient care. respecting human dignity is a universal requirement for patients and nurses as it leads to mutual benefit for all parties.
Areas to Improve on My Social Media
The areas of my social media activity that needs improvement include reducing posting my personal sentiments, especially from work on days that may seem frustrating and irritating. For example, posting information about my patients and their situations may have negative effects on my overall practice as colleagues can come across such information. The second area that requires improvement is the use of social media to post my political sentiments and even opinions. Nurses are expected to serve all people irrespective of their political affiliations (Geraghty et al., 2021). As change agents, they should advocate diversity and cultural competence. This means that nurses should use their social media accounts to promote positive health aspects and encourage patients and health communities.
The use of social media in nursing profession cannot be overemphasized. Social media provides both personal and professional benefits. Therefore, nurses should ensure that their postings do not violate legal and ethical requirements. A core aspect is compliance with HIPAA rules and ascertaining that there is no unauthorized access to patient data and information. Christian values and respect for human dignity implore nurses to adhere to their ethical guidelines and professional conduct when posting information on social media. Nurses need to uphold responsibility because of the regulatory requirements and long-term professional conduct.
American Nurses Association (ANA) (2022). Social Media.
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