Posted February 13, 2012
School Nurses : The “DOs and DON’Ts” of Using Social Media
When it comes to healthcare professionals using social media, as the expression goes “the train has left the station” and there is no turning back. The benefits are just too great and those who don’t partake are missing out on a tremendous resource for their industry. For instance, by joining RNsights, school nurses now have the ability to be part of a free and brand new state of the art professional networking community connecting school nurses with over 1,000 of their peers across the country. With a click of the mouse, school nurses can share insights, collaborate with other school nurses and find support from their peers. Information can be shared real-time providing immediate education and sharing of evidence based solutions to help school nurses be more knowledgeable in their jobs, provide immediate help to their students, and be more effective working with school administration, teachers and parents.
The question no longer is whether social media is an effective resource in the healthcare profession but rather how to best use social media while taking all the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your patients. By following these simple guidelines of the “DOs and DON’Ts” of using social media, you too can safely and securely benefit from the latest technological advance sweeping the healthcare profession.
DON’T disclose in posts identifying information about yourself, your school, or your patients
DON’T choose a username on the website that easily identifies you (if you have, request to change it)
DON’T upload images of your patients
DON’T assume you know who is reading your posts and comments
DON’T engage in unprofessional conduct
DO use a site/community that helps protect the confidentiality of yourself, your school and your patients
DO choose a username that does not include your last name or school but is easy to remember
DO share evidence based solutions to help your peers
DO pose questions to experts and other nurses who had previous experience with an issue
DO share support and emotional encouragement with other nurses
DO maintain patient privacy and confidentiality at all times
DO think about how your post or comment might be interpreted by the reader
DO discuss industry concerns and news that can help other nurses
RNsights created its online community for school nurses with the importance of confidentiality at the core of its design. As a result, it added another level of protection that most social media sites can’t provide. In addition, even though members are “anonymous” to one another, RNsights has the ability to confirm a member’s RN license when necessary.
Before deciding to join any social media platform where you will be discussing sensitive information, make sure you have gone through the following checklist to protect yourself and your patients. If you can answer “Yes” to ALL the questions, go ahead and join the site to start reaping the benefits of being part of a professional networking community.
|Able to choose an anonymous user name.||
|My personal information, such as real name and email address, will NOT be shared without my permission.||
|Away from basic user information, I am not required to provide additional personal information.||
|The website is NOT in business to collect personal data to be sold.||
|I have the ability to choose what level of email notification I receive so the website never becomes intrusive.||