Nurse posts brain surgery pics on Facebook - page 4

by student456

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  1. 0
    First, I will not argue that the nurse in question acted inappropriately. But that was never my point. My argument lies on the basis that what that nurse did was not worthy of making international news. What she did, bad judgment or whatever, was take a picture of a brain and post it on her web site. There was no pt identifiers involved in that picture. I say Big Hairy Deal!

    Heck, if one is going to call that a violation of patient privacy, then every, “Oh My God Look What Happened To Me At Work Today/Post Your Funny Stories” thread on this web site would have to be considered a violation of pt privacy as well. So who here is going to cast the first stone? Seriously, when you get home and your significant other asks how “was your day?”, do you reply that you can’t say as it might violate patient privacy???

    I also have to ask why the medical double standard? Why is it that a non identifying close up picture of ones brain requires meeting such a high level of informed consent standard, yet walking into a gas station and buying a bag of Doritos and being filmed while doing it to the extent that one could very easily be identified require only the passive consent of a sign posted outside stating that security cameras are in use and basically, enter at your peril if something like that bothers you?

    In the broad picture of this issue, I see this as essentially one more thing that has been carved out in the legal books to sue someone over. Never mind that there was, utterly, no harm done to anyone.

    The responses to this thread in particular make me sad. Rather then stand up and call BS to the extreme way in which the nurse in question is being at least portrayed, it seems like everyone is dog piling on her to flay her up one side and down the other. Like I said, she used poor judgment. But to elevate her transgression to a licensure/employment/international news level is way, way, WAY beyond absurd in my eyes.

    Bottom line, what harm did she do, what harm did she cause?
  2. 0
    Quote from MursingMale
    I do agree that HIPPA is a bit overreaching, but it is the law. The fact of the matter is that the hospital and the nurse could all be fined by the government/sued by the patient because of this act. If you do not like the law, use the proper channels to change it instead of taking the Robin Hood approach of undermining it. This nurse was wrong, and while the punishment may seem harsh to some, she should have known better.

    To the person who compared this to a security camera taking pictures at the mall: The difference is that you have NO reasonable expectation of privacy at a mall, in a hospital you do.

    Why is that acceptable?
  3. 0
    Quote from RetiredTooSoon
    I like to think of my brain as more than a piece of meat, thank you very much.

    Ahhh but with a little olive oil and garlic..... (I kid, I kid. Sorry, I could not resist. )




    Quote from RetiredTooSoon
    Those same security video images that are taken as you walk into the mall are not splayed across the Internet by a security guard for the express purpose of showing off to friends how big and high falootin' his job is-and a security guard who did so would be disciplined or fired very quickly.
    Even if that was done with ME as the subject in those videos, I can assure you that I would utterly care less. If someone wants to use my passive image in a "look how cool I am video" on their myspace.com page, more power to them.
  4. 0
    Quote from JunebugRN28
    Would it have been any different to you had it been the patient's genital area instead of the brain?
    . . . have any of you heard of this? A surgical resident took a picture of a male's genital area I believe b/c of a tattoo? (happened in Arizona). He was fired for this as he sent it to others' cell phones and it was eventually leaked to the press.

    Bottom line, it doesn't matter if you cannot ID the patient by the picture. This is a matter of respect! People who are under anesthesia are vunerable, and it is our job to protect their basic rights. Taking personal pictures during surgery and then placing them on facebook (both without pt permission!) is completely unprofessional and disrespectful.[/quote]


    So if respect is the issue, how about 8 or 10 patients to one nurse? Where is the outrage about that? Where is the press coverage? What is more harmful to a patient population, a non identifying photo of a person's brain or an over worked nurse? Seriously, how many people have died due to an a nurse who was too stretched out and how many patients have died because a nurse snapped a non identifying picture of the inside of their body?

    Priorities.
  5. 0
    Quote from workingforskies
    Why is that acceptable?
    If you don't think that HIPPA, or privacy laws in general, are acceptable work to change it beyond complaining about it on an internet forum. HIPPA, to me, is a relatively minor annoyance that really is not worth my time or energy to work towards changing (the same goes for other privacy laws as well). If you feel differently go ahead and propose legislation, petition your congressman/woman, or run for office yourself and work to change what you think is not right.

    The fact of the matter is that this nurse knew (or should have known) the rules coming into the game. I do not believe that her actions were malicious, but at the same time she needs to be held accountable for breaking the rules.
  6. 1
    Quote from RetiredTooSoon
    Exactly. And if she'll take pictures of herself holding random body parts of her patients to post online, what else might she do to a vulnerable, sleeping patient?

    I don't know, why don't you fill us all in? (Yep, an idiotic, loaded answer to an idiotic, loaded question.)


    Tell you what. Lets revoke your drivers license the next time you go 1 mph over the speed limit. After all, if you are capable of breaking that law, who knows how fast you may go in other, speed limited areas.
    Zookeeper3 likes this.
  7. 0
    Quote from bagladyrn
    I agree - HIPAA has nothing to do with this as it did not occur in the US - the incident occurred in Sweden. I think this does reflect a change (and to my mind a decline) in respect for the rights and dignity of others fostered by the technology of the internet and the ability to instantly broadcast all sorts of details to the world with no time for reflection on the propriety of such.
    I agree. but where is the outrage and the demand for respect for privacy when one walks into a bank for example? Why the double standard?
  8. 0
    Quote from MursingMale
    To the person who compared this to a security camera taking pictures at the mall: The difference is that you have NO reasonable expectation of privacy at a mall, in a hospital you do.

    kind of begs the question, WHY IS THAT THE CASE??? Why is the standard of the expectation of privacy, in this allegedly free society, so diametrically opposed between walking into a mall and walking into an ER?
  9. 1
    Quote from workingforskies
    kind of begs the question, WHY IS THAT THE CASE??? Why is the standard of the expectation of privacy, in this allegedly free society, so diametrically opposed between walking into a mall and walking into an ER?
    Because we have laws that state that you should expect privacy when you walk into the ER, and I am at a loss as to why you cannot see the difference. In the ER questions are asked that you would never be asked at the mall, and hopefully when you are questioned by the MD or nurse you give honest responses. Since I am tired I am going to post something I wrote up as a response to a discussion I had in one of my classes:

    A Question of Trust
    It's more than a line from a Depeche Mode song (A Question of Lust if you wanted to know). In class today we had a lecture on pediatric / adolescent health maintenance and the question was brought up as to why we should not divulge a minor patient's personal information if it was something that the parent might be interested in, or concerned about (i.e. pregnancy, drug abuse, sexual history). We don't turn around and tell the parents because we do not want the people who are under our care to stop trusting us. As nurses we are dependent on all of our patient's implicit and explicit trust so that we are able to complete our jobs. The patient needs to be able to trust that we won't give them the wrong medication, that we will not abuse them financially or physically when they are most vulnerable... and that we will not share their secrets (within reason of course... threats of self-harm, abuse, and violence notwithstanding). Once this trust is lost we will be rendered impotent as caregivers.


    It may seem like the right thing to do at the time, to tell a parent that their child has been using drugs, or has been sexually active; but look at it from the child's point of view. Why would you continue to give information to someone who you believe could not be trusted? As health care providers we have been charged with maintaining the same confidentiality that is expected from a priest or lawyer. By violating this trust you are leaving yourself, and the facility you work for, open to being fined by the government and sued by the patient. Not only this, but your fellow colleagues who rely on open and honest communication in order to diagnose, treat, and care for these patients are suddenly going to find their job MUCH more difficult if the adolescent / young adult population no longer divulges information that they don't want their parents knowing. We need to remember the adage that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions". The nurse may be very well meaning when she tells Sally's parents that she is pregnant, but what are the potential consequences if our patients no longer trust us?


    Many of you know that I have two children, and in spite of this I still believe that this trust between us as nurses and our patients should not be broken. I hope that my children will never face the situations that were discussed in class today, and if they do, that they will be able to come and talk to me about it. If that is not the case though, I want to know that they will feel comfortable enough with the nurse who first encounters and triages them to tell him or her the truth about their condition so that they can receive the treatment they need. I feel that strongly about this issue.

    This was posted after a discussion about adolescent pregnancy where some students did not understand why you should not disclose a minor's sexual history with the parents. It is a little off topic, but it is in line with my views on a patient's right to privacy.
    Last edit by MursingMale on Aug 20, '08
    UTHSCSA-Hopeful likes this.
  10. 0
    Quote from MursingMale
    We don't turn around and tell the parents because we do not want the people who are under our care to stop trusting us. As nurses we are dependent on all of our patient's implicit and explicit trust so that we are able to complete our jobs.
    How is taking a non identifying picture of a person’s brain relevant to this? Why would this be an issue? Whose trust is being violated?

    Quote from MursingMale
    The patient needs to be able to trust that we won't give them the wrong medication, that we will not abuse them financially or physically when they are most vulnerable... and that we will not share their secrets (within reason of course... threats of self-harm, abuse, and violence notwithstanding). Once this trust is lost we will be rendered impotent as caregivers.
    (I think), you are alluding to the implied standard that we, as nurses, are supposed to act as patient advocates, especially when the patient is not in the optimal position of speaking fully for themselves. On that issue my friend, I view it as my prime directive. But that also begs the question of the double standard. Why is it that we, as nurses demand such close scrutiny to towards the behavior of one of our own, (such as taking and posting a picture of a non identifying person’s brain for example), yet we stand aside and do nothing while that same nurse might have had 8 post-op patients as her assignment the night before? If you are going to evoke the “patient advocacy” argument, where are your letters to your representatives demanding reasonable staffing levels? (Obviously a rhetorical question better left to our society as a whole.)


    Quote from MursingMale
    It may seem like the right thing to do at the time, to tell a parent that their child has been using drugs, or has been sexually active; but look at it from the child's point of view. Why would you continue to give information to someone who you believe could not be trusted? As health care providers we have been charged with maintaining the same confidentiality that is expected from a priest or lawyer.
    Actually, we are not covered by those laws.

    Quote from MursingMale
    By violating this trust you are leaving yourself, and the facility you work for, open to being fined by the government and sued by the patient.
    Again, why is that? Why the double standard? Why is the bar for video privacy so much higher walking into an ER than walking into a mall. Do you see my point????


    Quote from MursingMale
    Not only this, but your fellow colleagues who rely on open and honest communication in order to diagnose, treat, and care for these patients are suddenly going to find their job MUCH more difficult if the adolescent / young adult population no longer divulges information that they don't want their parents knowing.

    What does this have to do with taking a picture of a person’s brain and posing it on their website?

    Quote from MursingMale
    We need to remember the adage that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions". The nurse may be very well meaning when she tells Sally's parents that she is pregnant, but what are the potential consequences if our patients no longer trust us?
    If a person has utterly no idea that a picture of their brain was recorded and subsequently posted on the internet, how is that undermining their trust?


    Quote from MursingMale
    Many of you know that I have two children, and in spite of this I still believe that this trust between us as nurses and our patients should not be broken. I hope that my children will never face the situations that were discussed in class today, and if they do, that they will be able to come and talk to me about it. If that is not the case though, I want to know that they will feel comfortable enough with the nurse who first encounters and triages them to tell him or her the truth about their condition so that they can receive the treatment they need. I feel that strongly about this issue.

    Perhaps you are the exception, but for most people, if their child shared something with a health care provider that would be at all relevant to a long term, adverse outcome, most of those parents would be waiting at the door of their lawyer’s office the next morning to file a law suit.

    And again, what does this have to do with taking a non identifying picture of another person’s brain?


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