Confidentialy Issues in Nursing

If you are considering taking up nursing, you need to be aware that being able to observe confidentiality in the workplace is important. Every nurse must know what kind of information should be kept in confidence. Recently, confidentiality and privacy rights are becoming a big issue in the medical field.

We all get curious once in a while. It’s natural in people to feel the need to know. However, this is something that should not be practiced by nurses. Anyone in the medical field, from paramedic to RN and doctors, know that patients expect them to keep their information in secret. Patients put their trust on their nurses and doctors.

There are news of confidentiality breeches once in a while. Celebrities are usually the victims of these breeches, as many people, including nurses, deem their lives intriguing.  Some nurses get curious about their home address or medical condition. In these kinds of situations, nurses who are caught getting information without permission are disciplined or even terminated.

With the popularity of social media and social networking sites, some people can’t help but tweet or talk about their work. While it is okay to post status updates about one’s job, stating a patient’s name or names of doctors and putting them in a bad light is very much discouraged. When superiors or coworkers see this, you may be in big trouble at work and may get fired for it.

It is also important for nurses to be careful with sharing patient information with visitor. Before answering questions about the patient’s condition or contact information, you need to make sure that the visitor is a friend or family relative of the patient. This also goes the same with sharing files or documents with outsiders. You also might want to suggest that he or she ask or see the patient himself to know their situation.

If patients allow you to share their status or medical information, make sure that you only share it with people whom the patient permitted.

It is so easy to get any type of information from patients without their permission.  However, when you are caught red-handed from this, you could ruin your career.  You do not want to lose your job simply because you were curious to find out what a certain celebrity is in the hospital for.

Always remember to respect people’s privacy, as you want them to respect yours.

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