Level of Nursing Professionalism and Social Media

Nursing specialists must always demonstrate the highest level of professionalism in all areas of their activity, including on social media platforms. They have a moral obligation to behave appropriately online and ensure that they do not violate the existing rules of conduct. Improper behavior can result in the termination of a contract with the hospital since the example of Katie Duke, fired for posting a picture of a trauma room, shows that it is possible (Li, 2014). By analyzing their social media content, nurses can improve the quality of their posts to better reflect Christian values and avoid any problematic situations concerning ethics.

After carefully studying my history of posts on Facebook, I came across one which could be considered inappropriate about my role as a medical specialist. This is an image that humorously portrays a situation when a doctor gives medications to their patient without knowing anything about the needs of the latter. My current and potential patients can see it and may assume that I am incompetent and cannot be trusted with their health, which may make them decline my services.

Nurses must adhere to the standards of appropriate conduct at work because it is the place where they must demonstrate an excellent level of professionalism and competence. Nurses must realize that their patients’ well-being depends on their behavior and actions because they are essential to a successful recovery process. Moreover, nurses’ conduct in their private lives is equally important since they should never cease to be medical professionals. Nurses have to embody human empathy, compassion, and caring; besides, some even take the Nightingale Pledge during which they solemnly swear to faithfully practice their profession (McDonald, 2017). It obliges them to act decently both inside medical facilities and beyond them, with no exceptional situations.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule ensures that individuals’ health information is protected and does not end up in the hands of fraudsters or criminals (The U.S. Department of Health, n.d.). Yet, nurses can easily violate its guidelines, for example, by sharing their patients’ medical details online in an Instagram post. They can also attempt to access without any proper authorization the information about people who are not in their care to convey it to the third party. Such instances are displayed as absolutely unethical and unprofessional conduct for which a nursing specialist must be held accountable. Therefore, all nurses need to understand the gravity of consequences for not complying with the HIPAA.

After analyzing my social media, I found several areas of my activity that reflect Christian values, including reposts from the accounts of different hospices and quotes, which highlight the significance of respect for others. I become extremely emotional when I see terminally-ill patients, especially when they are young or my age. I consider it my duty to let more people know about the importance of palliative care and frequently make sure to repost the stories which involve individuals facing incurable diseases. Another realm of my social media activity concerning Christian values is my occasional sharing of quotes about human respect and empathy. These two areas are important for me because they demonstrate both my personal and professional beliefs.

One area of my social media which needs improving is my educational content, which I can make to share important medical advice. I could create videos and write posts on how people can maintain a healthy lifestyle, especially under the current circumstances of a global pandemic. Thus, I would contribute to the public well-being and help my audience better understand how they can prevent serious health issues.

Nurses have to always make sure that the content they share on social media platforms does not violate ethical guidelines. They must maintain their professionalism in all areas of life and serve as examples of human caring and empathy. After analyzing my posts, I have discovered certain aspects of my social media activity that needed improvement. I deleted content that was inappropriate and decided to focus on making videos about health and wellness.

References

Li, D. K. (2014). New York Med’ nurse fired for ‘insensitive’ Instagram shot. New York Post. Web.

McDonald, L. (2017). Florence Nightingale, nursing, and health care today. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (n.d.). The HIPAA privacy rule. Web.