Do nurses have a responsibility to keep their Facebook professional? - page 3

by Bortaz, RN

26,376 Unique Views | 166 Comments

I am "Facebook friends" with a large number of my nursing peers. I am often quite surprised at the behavior I see exhibited by them in so public a place. I see: 1. Lots and lots of foul language/inappropriate pics, etc. 2.... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from Bortaz, RN
    I am "Facebook friends" with a large number of my nursing peers. I am often quite surprised at the behavior I see exhibited by them in so public a place.

    I see:
    1. Lots and lots of foul language/inappropriate pics, etc.
    2. Lots and lots of "oh, man, I'm so wasted right now...bout to go to the next bar!!!"
    3. Lots and lots of TMI about relationships, affairs, drunkeness, fights, whatever.

    On their FB profile, they have it proudly posted that they are "Registered Nurse at So-and-so Hospital", or "Proud PEDI Nurse!" or "School nurse at Ur Dum Akadimy".

    I cringe sometimes when I see some of this stuff, and think to myself "what would their employer think?" or, "Hope they're not interviewing soon with a computer-adept manager".

    I try to keep my social media as clean as I can, and don't flaunt any of my bad habits for the world to see.

    But, what do you think? Do nurses have a responsibility to maintain a professional demeanor on their (supposedly) private social media sites?

    Another possibility: Am I an old fart?
    Like separation of church and state, work and personal life should be separate. Two Facebook accounts, using modified names, especially.

    And of course, keep the work associated FB one clean.
  2. 1
    Quote from NurseCard
    I post mostly photo's of my kids, inspirational stuff, and silly stuff
    like the kitty cat sitting on a little table; looked like the cat had four
    new legs. The caption? "Lt. Dan! You got new legs!" =)

    I try to stay away from posting things that are crude, full of foul
    language, or embarrassing, but my life is uber stressful and
    sometimes I can't help posting the occasional "SOS!" status.
    I don't have that many Facebook friends; most of them know
    me pretty well, another bunch of them are friends from Church.
    (another reason why I try to keep it clean! =))

    In a perfect world, yes what we post on Facebook should
    have no bearing on our professional life, but the fact is
    that a computer savvy employer can find ANYTHING
    ever posted on the Internet, EVER. So...

    And yes, I do feel like the poster who's friend
    posted that thing on her Facebook page deserved
    to be fired if she knew that it was there and
    failed to delete it and scold her friend for it. JMO.
    The other end of that is, do you really believe your employer is working so hard to investigate fellow employees for what they've posted on the internet, unless they've done something? I think those that worry, have something to worry about.

    I don't believe any large facility is going to have some PI's on an employee unless there's something bad brewing (fraud, abuse, drug activity, or other illegal stuff.) They just aren't going to waste resources.

    But as far as applying for a new job, these contracted investigation companies can and do find out information that is available on the WWW.
    LiLoRN likes this.
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    Quote from Hygiene Queen
    Ideally, that would be true, but unfortunately, that is not the reality.
    It may not be the reality but I believe it should be and would be if nurses just stood up for ourselves and told employers to mind their own business. I am not paid to be at work 24/7, until that time comes I will continue to do what I want in my personal life so long as it doesn't affect my ability to be professional *at work*!
    JRP1120, RN, Bex27, SuperStarRN, and 9 others like this.
  4. 0
    Quote from klone
    IMO, if you have posted your place of employment anywhere in your profile, you automatically have designated yourself a representative of that employer, and anything you say on Facebook can definitely come back and haunt you, or at least look super unprofessional.

    One of the reasons why I don't list my employer in my profile!
    Yes, I agree! No affiliations with work or your school.

    Unless you are using your FB page as a professional page, it's personal, and should exclude those places that might judge you professionally.
  5. 1
    To me it comes down to self respect. We should always conduct ourselves in a way that shows we have a respect for ourselves. That being said, if I want to post that I am out having drinks with a friend, I don't see anything wrong with that. I'm not at work having a couple of drinks, so what is the problem. I try to keep my FB drama free and have been known to unfriend people that prove themselves to be drama queens. My FB only shows that I am a nurse, not where I work. My hospital has updated it social networking policy and I play it safe and don't post my workplace. That way nothing can be tied to them.
    sauconyrunner likes this.
  6. 0
    Quote from MassED
    Yes, I agree! No affiliations with work or your school.

    Unless you are using your FB page as a professional page, it's personal, and should exclude those places that might judge you professionally.
    Excuse me but aren't we trained to be wholistic? I am not a nurse only during my waking hours at the hospital am I? If I were driving in my car and saw a train derailment, would I get out to help the victims or just say, "Well, I'm in 'personal mode' right now, not my problem.". It isn't so clear cut/black or white.
  7. 3
    I feel like you should be able to post whatever you want on your facebook page, however, with that said you shouldn't break any laws or break HIPAA by doing so, there is a limit to "whatever you want". I make heavy use of privacy settings, my profile cannot be seen by the public, and I have strict lists of who can see what post. Prior to being laid off, I listed myself as an LPN @ company but I used the "umbrella" company name, not specifically where I worked, and I never posted about work related things other than the occasional "bad day at work" without any details. I try to refrain from friending co-workers too often on facebook and in real life - I'm there to work, not make friends or pick up boyfriends (can of worms!).

    I am a big support of "free speech", but if you make good use of privacy settings, then only those trusted people will see those things, I also feel that you shouldn't have thousands of "friends" you don't know on facebook, you never know what kind of people they might be.

    /steps down off soapbox.

    To be honest, I rarely post anything on facebook, but I feel like it's peoples right to post what they want to (within the law) and if someone posts something I don't like (which is pretty much never) I simplly unfriend them or tell them that I don't appreciate their post.
    chaka_1709, LiLoRN, and giveface like this.
  8. 1
    Quote from giveface
    Excuse me but aren't we trained to be wholistic? I am not a nurse only during my waking hours at the hospital am I? If I were driving in my car and saw a train derailment, would I get out to help the victims or just say, "Well, I'm in 'personal mode' right now, not my problem.". It isn't so clear cut/black or white.
    What exactly does that have to do with Facebook? Holistic nursing is about caring for all aspects of the patient, not that a nurse is a nurse 24/7. Of course, unless there was a valid reason, most nurses would stop and help at a train derailment. Besides, it's healthy to have downtime.

    As for my Facebook, I have my privacy settings set to only allow those I'm friends with see anything. Friend of friend? Nope, not seeing anything but my name. Not even friend of friend? You won't find me because I'm set to not even be found in a search. Still don't post anything questionable. I am friends with people from work, but I actually hang out with them outside of work.
    SuperStarRN likes this.
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    M point is only that why should you have to make and maintain two separate facebook accounts (second one under a pseudonym), simply to enable this misguided concept that employers have the right to spy on us in our personal lives, they don't have that right IMO. What I meant by the train derailment analogy, is that we don't have an "on nurse/off nurse" button when we go from a professional environment to a personal one; we are always a nurse.
  10. 5
    Employers check Facebook to see what potential employees post. It's a common practice.

    Multiple accounts on Facebook are somewhat linked to each other, and the system isn't flawless, so if you have more than one, one could directly lead to the other. For instance, I have an account I intended to use for some virtual learning for my students. I found it went directly to my other friends and family site. I don't know what others can see on it, but I can see everything no matter which account I use.

    Someone who knows how can bypass the privacy settings on Facebook. Also, there are people "out there" who like to cause trouble, and who knows what lengths they might go to...

    So, don't post things you don't want someone else to read because you never know what will be read.

    Also, don't look like a twit by posting things that can make you look like one!
    CherylRNBSN, Miss Lizzie, klone, and 2 others like this.


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