Sample Paper on Professionalism and Social Media Use

Professionalism and Social Media Use

In my use of social media, I have identified some conversations and posts that I have shared with others that may be inappropriate based on professional nursing standards. At one time, I came into contact with a band singer that my friends and I adored after he had an accident and sought treatment at the healthcare facility where I worked. While he was sleeping, I took photographs of him and of his demographic information from his health records and sent them to my friends on a social media platform to prove that I had met the singer. On another occasion, I shared private information about the pregnancy test results of a patient with another friend who knew her on social media after the friend asked me about the latest “grapevine” in my work. These actions on social media may be inappropriate based on professional nursing standards because they infringed on the privacy of the concerned patients, especially because I did not seek their permission to share the information and may have abused my professional role as a nurse entrusted with caring responsibilities to obtain the information.

The responsibility of nurses to uphold a standard of conduct that is consistent with professional nursing requirements has a basis on the sensitivity of private information and the need to observe human dignity. By virtue of their human nature, individuals are worthy of honor and respect. These are inalienable gifts that individuals cannot and do not earn, and that others cannot take away irrespective of the individual’s condition. Safeguarding the fundamental dignity of human beings is the foundation of justice, peace, and freedom for society members. These rights include the need to keep information about the self and personal conditions and experiences private and secure, and to offer authority for any sharing of such information. In their duties, nurses are privy to sensitive information concerning patients and their lives, health, identities, and experiences. Nurses’ responsibility to uphold a standard of conduct consistent with professional nursing standards addresses the risk that their positions in the frontline of care present for breaches of patients’ dignity and privacy to protect patients from threats to their safety, wellbeing, and security. Under HIPAA’s privacy rule, nursing professionals and organizations have the responsibility to incorporate reasonable safeguards to protect patient’s health information from unauthorized access, use, and disclosure through physical, technical, and administrative means (Ventola, 2014). This means that any personal conduct that facilitates, aids, or contributes directly to unauthorized access, use, and disclosure of patients’ information through physical, technical, and administrative means violates HIPAA and is unprofessional and unethical. Examples of such conduct could be casual sharing of the information on social media or with others outside medical contexts for purposes other than medical care, such as in casual conversations with friends or on “grapevine”.

An area of my activity on social media that reflects Christian values in terms of respect for human dignity and value for all is the effort to mobilize healthcare professionals, local communities, and other stakeholders for the patient and public health education programs. I have utilized social media as a convenient and effective tool for creating awareness and mobilizing communities for these programs in efforts to improve population health. This effort has featured respect for human dignity and value for all individuals because I have not discriminated against individuals based on gender, age, social class, or sexual orientation in the campaigns. The area in which I could improve in my social media use is the casual sharing of patients’ information with others. I need to be more conscious of the responsibility to protect patient’s health information from unauthorized access, uses, and disclosure, especially in my casual conversations/posts on the media with friends.

References

Ventola, C. (2014). Social Media and Healthcare Professionals: Benefits, Risks, and Best Practices. Pharmacy and Therapeutics 39(7): 491-499. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103576/