Social media can be a battleground, and it can seriously affect your career as a nurse. Although there are some funny things that could be said on social media, there are some serious considerations you should take.
One way to avoid all of this is not to use social media at all. Since that is probably not going to happen, you can restrict your followers to just family and close personal friends.
It is when you start friending coworkers and others from work that you tend to run into trouble. You never know who is going to see your posting, who is going to share it around, and who is going to run straight to the boss with a print out of your posts.
Nude or Nearly Pornographic Pictures
For some reason, posting nude photos to social media has become a thing. It is usually women who do it, but some men have posted photos of certain parts of their anatomy that should best be covered.
You don’t need to be nude, either, to commit this faux pas. If you are showing tons of cleavage, wearing hardly any clothes, or doing your best to look sexual, you should seriously reconsider posting it.
Anyone can see these pictures, and although it seems cool to look physically attractive in that way, you have to remember you are a professional now. If you wouldn’t show it to your boss, you shouldn’t be posting it. They WILL see it.
Rants, Slams, and Complaints about Your Facility, Boss, or Coworkers
Many people think of social media as a journal of sorts. They chronicle every moment of their lives to share it with others – regardless of how annoying it is to others.
When nurses have a bad day, they may feel the need to vent, and social media is a tempting place to unleash emotion. If you complain about your facility, your boss, or your coworkers, it can definitely get you into trouble.
Comments slamming someone usually get back to the target in little time at all. When it is a member of the people you work with, you could end up losing your job over what you said in a public forum.
Anything Relating to Patients
All nurses are aware of HIPPA and patient privacy. No one would probably be stupid enough to actually post information on a patient, but stranger things have happened.
Most nurses would generalize about a patient, but even that could be dangerous. If you work on a bariatric floor and complain about those lazy, whiny, fat asses you have to take care of, you are putting your job at risk.
Even generalizing about a single patient could be dangerous. You may let too much information out. Someone you work with may recognize the patient in your comments. Sometimes comments can go too far.
Never post about patients. Even if you are stressed by them, find another outlet, lest you lay the path to unemployment.
Information on Your Life that May Reflect Badly on You
You probably shouldn’t post pictures of you vomiting into the toilet after a night of unbridled alcohol consumption. You may not get fired for this, but it certainly reflects badly on you.
One of the dumbest things anyone can do is to brag after a call off. You call off from work and then post on social media how you are going out that night to party.
If you are sick and call off, that is one thing. Taking a day off to party and then bragging about it in a public forum is likely grounds for termination.
Any picture, post, or meme that makes you look anything but professional and stable should not be on social media. It will get back to the higher ups, and you will regret your openness.