Facebook and Former Patient Friend Request - page 2

I am a nursing student and one of my former patient's mother friend requested me on FB. So techinically, she was never my patient. We had a connection since her youngest son was recently diagnosed... Read More

  1. by   DC Collins
    Later, when you are a Nurse, you can possibly update your choice. As for now, it is probably a wiser choice which you made.

    At minimum, however, ask your Dean for advice.

    Abbreviations R Us
  2. by   VickyRN
    The North Carolina Board of Nursing has weighed in on nurses posting on Social Networking sites:

    http://www.ncbon.com/WorkArea/linkit...id&ItemID=2504 - see page 12

    The article contains this true account:
    A parent questions a head nurse, "is my child safe on this unit?" "What would lead you to believe your child is not safe?" asked the head nurse. "Because last night I read on his nurse's Facebook page that she felt so ill with a migraine headache during the day that she didn't know how she made it through her shift," reports the parent.
    The article also contains this information:
    A nurse once posted derogatory comments about patients she cared for, naming the specific unit and the facility where she worked. No names were used, but enough information was shared to identify the patients for those family members or friends aware of the patients' activities. Cases have come before the NC Board of Nursing where nurses have violated HIPAA, and thus the Nursing Practice Act. Also, there is a case in another state where several nurses were fired when they allegedly took photos of a patient's x-ray and posted one on a social networking site.
    Be careful what you post on FB... it might cost you your license.
  3. by   harleyridingirl
    Having been a home health nurse I ran into this problem many times. I would see patients for months and become close to some of them. I read lots of things on it. The problem with letting people know you are a nurse period is the minute you answer a health care question you have set up a nurse-patient relationship. The best answer I found was at the end of any conversation that has to do with health issues with anyone is to say, you need to follow up with your doctor. That takes the burden off of your back.
  4. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from cschoppe
    i don't think it's a problem, just use your judgement... i also had a patient this semester who was 82 years old and after we got to chatting all throughout my shift she asked if i had fb b/c she wanted to add me as a friend to see how i was doing throughout ns and beyond...i said sure (she was my patient's wife) but she never sent me a request (hope her husband is ok)....
    the problem is that so many folks don't use their judgement. read some of the threads from/about people who have gotten themselves in trouble with facebook.
  5. by   rita359
    You did the right thing to deny the request. Even though you are a student, its never too early to learn to set boundaries. This was a professional relationship and should be kept as such. Next thing she will be asking for advice on facebook and, professionally, you don't even want to go there. Learn now to keep professional and personal life seperate.
  6. by   Pappilli0n
    It's okay for a person to seek "unofficial" medical advice from any health care
    giver. There are so many avenues to direct them, especially with today's
    access to the Internet.
    Never refuse a friend's request. Friends are the petals on a flower and the
    flower is you!!
  7. by   rn/writer
    I'm in agreement with the cautious bunch. That said, there is nothing saying that you can't connect with this other person, so long as it's a mom-to-mom kind of communication and becomes a true friendship originating in the fact that you share the common bond of having an autistic child. You don't need to go through Facebook or any other site to make a real life friend.

    Social networking has its place, but it has the unfortunate tendency to substitute the illusion of connection for the real thing and crowd out good old-fashioned person-to-person contact.

    I would make it clear from the outset that you are responding to her as a fellow mom and not as a nurse. You can explain that in a friendship (vs. a therapeutic relationship) the parties are on equal footing and there is a give and take that can't be present between nurse and patient (or patient's family member). If you are willing to enter into this kind of relationship, the two of you may have much to offer each other.
  8. by   canesdukegirl
    You exercised sound judgment in denying the request. A part of you wants to help but a part of you knows that in accepting the request may lead to a slippery slope of questions from the mom that could be deemed as medical advice.

    I learned to keep a "separation between church and state" so to speak. Work is work, and you already do so much good at work. Social networking is for fun. It is tempting to mix the two, but it can backfire easily.

    You made the right decision. Don't feel bad about it.
  9. by   RNLaborNurse4U
    I have accepted only two former patients on FB. Both requested me. One I took care of during her labor, but not her birth. The other I took care of on antepartum, and her baby later died. She also is FB friends with several other nurses who took care of her.

    I also never talk specifics about work on FB.
  10. by   jhoilman
    You should check your specific place of employment's social media and fraternization policies. Many places strictly prohibit the "friending" of patients and staff.
  11. by   Adele_Michal7
    I'm leery of even accepting coworker's friend requests until I know them pretty well. I like to keep things really professional.