Travel Nurses: Posting Patient Information on Facebook

Posted On March 28, 2013

patient's information

In 2012, it has been reported that Facebook has over 901 million monthly users and 526 million daily users. It is undoubtedly the largest social network in the world. Chances are, almost everyone you know is on Facebook. There’s no sign that the social network’s popularity will go away anytime soon. And it would be a shame if you didn’t take advantage of what Facebook has to offer.

For starters, it’s a great way to keep connected to everyone you know, especially when you’re out of state on a travel assignment. Many people rely on Facebook’s newsfeed to find out what’s going on in the world.

Being on the road is no longer as bad as it once was before Facebook. Before, people had to rely on phone calls to hear news from home. Now, with Facebook being accessible through smartphone apps, one only need to stop by a café with Wi-Fi to be on-the-know.

Professionally, Facebook provides an avenue for nurses to share and discover information about cases. And yet, this is a tricky topic because not all patient information can and should be shared online.

You have to use sound judgment and common sense when thinking about uploading case images and information on your wall. Remember that you can’t just post anything for the sake of posting, even if it is your wall. You have to consider who your audience is. Employers, former employers, co-workers, patients… these people are people who might see your posts that can misconstrue your intentions and cause trouble for you later on.

If you have questions about certain cases that you want to discuss with other professionals, it would probably be best to just message them privately. Or better yet, set up a face-to-face so you can discuss in person.

Consider the patient-nurse boundaries that you’re supposed to observe at all times, meaning even outside the hospital. Think about the patient’s privacy if you plan to post sensitive information.