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Tips for nurses using social media.

Social networks and the Internet provide unparalleled opportunities for rapid knowledge exchange and dissemination among many people, but this exchange does not come without risk. Nurses and nursing students have an obligation to understand the nature, benefits, and consequences of participating in social networking of all types. Online content and behavior has the potential to enhance or undermine not only the individual nurse's career, but also the nursing profession.


ANA's Principles for Social Networking

1. Nurses must not transmit or place online individually identifiable patient information.

2. Nurses must observe ethically prescribed professional patient--nurse boundaries.

3. Nurses should understand that patients, colleagues, institutions, and employers may view postings.

4. Nurses should take advantage of privacy settings and seek to separate personal and professional information online.

5. Nurses should bring content that could harm a patient's privacy, rights, or welfare to the attention of appropriate authorities.

6. Nurses should participate in developing institutional policies governing online conduct.

6 Tips to Avoid Problems

1. Remember that standards of professionalism are the same online as in any other circumstance.

2. Do not share or post information or photos gained through the nurse-patient relationship.

3. Maintain professional boundaries in the use of electronic media. Online contact with patients blurs this boundary.

4. Do not make disparaging remarks about patients, employers or co-workers, even if they are not identified.

5. Do not take photos or videos of patients on personal devices, including cell phones.

6. Promptly report a breach of confidentiality or privacy.

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Title Annotation:INA Annual Convention
Publication:Iowa Nurse Reporter
Date:Dec 1, 2011
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