Social Media 101: 5 Crucial Tips For Nurses To Play It Safe

Social media posts can get you into trouble! if you’re not careful! You’ve put a lot into becoming a nurse, and it would be a shame to have your name or position in jeopardy because of something you posted on the internet. It’s vital for nurses everywhere to stay safe when using social media—that’s why we’ve created this blog post with five essential tips to help and guide you when posting on social media.

1. Know Your HIPAA

As a nurse, you know HIPAA is an essential acronym. It stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and it’s meant to protect patient privacy. When using social media, post no details about a patient without permission, including photos/videos taken inside the hospital or clinic and offsite settings. Nurses must uphold strong moral and ethical standards, which apply to social media. Violating HIPPA can land you in serious trouble, such as fines and even losing your nursing license!

2. Avoid Negative Work-Related Posts

It’s best to avoid posting anything that could be seen as unfavorable about a patient, colleague, or employer. Even if you think it’s a harmless joke, your post could be misinterpreted and put you in hot water with your employer. A good rule is only to say what you would say in front of your boss or a patient on social media.  It’s essential to maintain professionalism, this doesn’t mean you can’t have an opinion or that you have to shy away from participating in healthcare discussions. It’s okay to stay visible and relevant by talking about your interests and passions within the industry.

3. Always Keep it Professional

Remember, anything posted online is public, even to those with whom you are not connected. Keep your posts professional. Share nothing that could be seen as inappropriate, unprofessional, or offensive. Even if you don’t use your name on a social media site, consider the implications of someone revealing your identity. If your words or posts could hurt someone or be seen as unprofessional, don’t hit “post!” Always remember that as a nurse, you’re supposed to be judgment-free. Specific posts can call your professionalism into question.

4. Speak with Your HR Department for Guidance

Contact your HR department if you have questions about using social media and your job. They will likely have policies that guide what is and isn’t appropriate. Review the procedure, and contact them if you aren’t clear on something or have questions. Also, if an incident occurs, let them know right away. They can help guide you through the process and limit any damage.

5. Double-check your privacy settings

A great way to reinforce those boundaries between personal and professional information online is by setting privacy parameters in your account settings. Keep your social media profile private. Getting recognition from a vast audience is nice, but you must consider the potential repercussions of sharing personal information with strangers. Protect yourself by only connecting with people you know and trust in real life. And remember, even with people you know and trust, don’t share patient information without their permission.

These five tips will help you stay safe with social media and protect your career as a nurse. If you’re looking for short-term and long-term nursing opportunities, connect with Actriv Healthcare today. We can help you find the right fit for your career goals. Stay safe on social media, and contact us if you have questions. We’re here to help you succeed in your nursing career!