The Ultimate Guide to Using Social Media as a Nurse (or Nursing Student)
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are great places to connect with family and friends, meet new people, share information and even find jobs. Social media, however, is not without risks. Here are some tips for nurses using social media that can help you avoid problems and still develop and maintain relationships online.
- Remember to Remain Professional. Maintaining a degree of professionalism may save you headaches in the long run. Recruiters and hiring managers often use social media as a show of an employee’s character. If your posts are professional, it may increase your chances for an interview.
- Never Discuss or Photograph Information about a Patient. Though it may seem obvious not to post x-rays or photos of charts, there are other, seemingly harmless posts that could affect you negatively. After a hard day, it may be tempting to vent about your patient’s diagnosis or to discuss your patient’s information over social media. These messages, however, can be forwarded elsewhere. Protect your patient, and yourself, by refraining from these kinds of posts. Even if your patient gives you permission to post a photo or information about them, keep in mind that your facility may have policies against this.
- Avoid Negative Comments about Your Facility or Colleagues. Comments about co-workers or facility equipment may circulate. This could end with problems at work or even cause you to lose your job.
- Remember Everything Posted is Permanent. You may be able to delete a comment, tweet, or post, but the reality is that you never know when someone could screenshot or read it before you delete it. If it’s not positive or adds value, reconsider posting it. If you question posting it, it is probably best not to post.
- Promote the Nursing Profession. Don’t be afraid to talk about what you know and love! Social media offers the nursing profession a variety of ways to encourage fellow nurses. Nursing is hard and it’s always great to be able to find fellow nurses who have been where you are. Be sure to share healthcare related articles as well, to keep your coworkers up to date.
Connecting to fellow nurses in the community is important, but it is also important to protect yourself and your patients. Be sure to follow Dedicated Nursing Associates, Inc. on Facebook and Twitter!