Several American nurses lost their jobs recently after they posted a video on social media describing the things they dislike about their jobs in labor and delivery. Even after the original posting was deleted, the video continued to make its way around the internet, leaving the nurses who originally posted it with no way to take it back or to get their faces out of the news.
This incident highlights the pitfalls of social media use for healthcare professionals, who, while certainly being entitled to their opinions about their job and patients, are at a heightened risk of professional sanctions for sharing those opinions publicly. Experts who advise healthcare professionals on how to use social media wisely have several tips for avoiding behaviors that could potentially open one up to criticism and even professional disciplinary measures.
Maintain Patient Privacy
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many professionals inadvertently give out private patient information on social media by discussing specific cases without adequately protecting the patient’s anonymity. In addition to ensuring you never violate HIPAA laws, even the people you work with should be unable to identify certain patients from your social media discussions. The more people talk openly about a specific case, the more likely it is the patient will be identified.
Maintain Your Own Privacy
Experts recommend that you keep your personal social media separate from any professional social media accounts and that your personal social media is kept very private. Although many healthcare workers successfully leverage social media to share important healthcare information and promote their services, personal social media accounts should only be accessible to close, trusted friends and family.
Keep Your Cool
If you must talk about your professional experiences publicly – and experts note there may be some value in doing so, especially when it comes to disseminating valuable information or educating the public on some of the difficulties of working in healthcare – keep your cool. One of the hallmarks of an excellent healthcare provider is his or her ability to stay calm in the face of pressure. Failing to maintain a professional demeanor risks reducing confidence in the medical profession at large and in your work and capabilities specifically. If potential or current patients see you as unstable, unpredictable, or out of control of your emotions, it could hurt your professional practice.
Call an Illinois Professional License Defense Lawyer
If social media use is causing you issues in your professional life, make sure you have the help of an experienced Illinois professional license defense attorney. Whatever your profession, you deserve a vigorous defense against any charges or allegations so you have the best chance of continuing to do good work without facing professional ramifications. Call The Law Offices of Joseph J. Bogdan, LLC today at 630-310-1267 to schedule a free initial consultation.