When used wisely, social media can be very useful and helpful. Nurses are witnesses to life and death situations that are sometimes too important not to share with others. Social media can help nurses spread great, inspiring stories through social networks without having to divulge the names of those in the story. Here are some tips on how to use social media effectively.
1. Avoid being specific about names and other personal details.
You can share stories without having to state names or details of the patient. You want to talk in general terms so that whatever you share offends no one. If for example you have met so many great patients and colleagues in the pediatrics department, you can express it by making a generalization. Instead of stating your patient’s name, you can say ‘The pediatrics department has truly been…”
2. Avoid stating the exact time of the incident.
By saying phrases like, “two weeks ago”, you will be giving ideas to people as to who you are referring to. It would be wise to use words like previously, over the years, in my experience or before.
3. Never take pictures or videos of patients and post them online.
So many nurses and other professionals have lost their jobs because of this. Posting pictures or videos of your patients is taking away their right to privacy. You may get sued for this and lose your job and license.
4. Do not post morbid pictures online.
It is quite disappointing to see some people who post pictures of their patients’ condition online. Not only are the pictures morbid, but also your friends would think you are very unprofessional. And worse, they might generalize that your hospital’s staff members do the same thing.
5. Never state the name of the facility you are working in.
This is also goes the same for your previous workplace. By stating the name of the hospital, your friends will be able to significantly narrow down their hunches on which facility you are talking about.
6. Only share stories that are worth hearing about.
Choose the stories that you want to share. There are so many negative vibes that we get these days, that a positive, heartwarming story is direly needed. You are lucky to be working in a place where you see miracles of life everyday. Share those small joys and miracles and make your friends feel good about life.
Being a nurse gives you many opportunities to celebrate life. Give others a chance to experience this by sharing positive experiences.