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Can a patient video tape me?

There was a patient that was claiming none of the nurses were giving her the narcotics she was ordered, even though everyone made an effort to open the medicine in front of her. When I went in the room, she decided to whip out her cell phone and video tape me. It seems like we don't have any rights as nurses but I was wondering if I had to accept this. I hate being on video for any reason.

emtb2rn, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in Emergency. Has 21 years experience.

Good question. We have the same video issues at my facility. While the policy is no video, what do you do once tape is rolling?

Geez, of course not, and why would you think any different? Has you supervisor been informed of this, and has the resident's family been informed of this? Find out. And do not let anyone make you feel that you 'must' comply or it would 'appease' the resident if you did. You only have the rights you deem important enough to insist on.

Good question. We have the same video issues at my facility. While the policy is no video, what do you do once tape is rolling?

Step back out of the room.


Specializes in Peds critical care. Has 15 years experience.

Our hospital has a strict "no videos/pictures" rule. Management backs us up when we politely enforce the rules.

I would see if you can get another nurse to witness you giving her pain meds every time. Also make your boss aware of issue and that you are now having another nurse witness pain med pass with this patient. I'm thinking this patient could really mess with you if she really wanted to. Cover your butt!!!

The reason I'd be unclear is that 1. You can recorded in public without your permission 2. The expectation of privacy is the patient's while in the patient's room and 3. Because even when a nurse is assaulted no one will do anything.

What I did was tell her that I did not want to be recorded and she stopped. But if she hadn't I still couldn't have left the room because she complained that we weren't bringing the medications on time and we're violating her rights. (Although that wasn't the truth) Yes, I had another nurse with me and yes I had multiple conversations with the supervisor that night about what was happening. No one knew the answer to the video tapping as I don't think we have a policy for that purpose.

kalycat, BSN, RN

Specializes in CVICU CCRN. Has 5 years experience.

Had a similar issue during my first round of Med/onc clinicals. Obviously I wasn't the main nurse since I'm a student, but my nurse was one of her targets. I ended up not providing care to this patient, but had been until things sort of blew up.

The hospital seemed to take this very seriously and involved leadership, administrators, psych and social work. The patient in question didn't want to be discharged back to a care facility and was secretly audio/video recording staff with her phone trying to prove that her pain wasn't being treated, meds were being diverted, verbal abuse, and negligence. The legal team ended up getting involved and the hospital leadership strongly backed the nurses.

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Specializes in Peds critical care. Has 15 years experience.

We have actually had security get involved when people are noncompliant with no video/picture policy.

It is not a public place (for profit hospital. Not sure if that makes a difference).

Yes, the patient has an expectation of privacy. But I don't think our policy is based solely on privacy issues. I'm willing to bet it's more of a legal, CYA, policy on the hospital's behalf.

Is your management looking into your policy? Curious to see what their point of view is.

windsurfer8, BSN

Specializes in Psych/Military Nursing. Has 13 years experience.

There is also the privacy issue. In a multi patient room the second patients privacy is violated by video recording. I work psych and it is easier because the patients may NOT have cell phones. One thing is people forget those cell phones take pictures. A person could take a picture on a psych unit and post it to Facebook in 1 minute. We take privacy of patients VERY seriously. They may say they are filming you..but are they really? There is no way to confirm this. They may say they are taking a picture of themselves, but are actually taking pictures of you for other reasons.

That's the most frustrating part of this, braty. My immediate supervisor supports me and when I asked for a drug test because I was accused she said no that she trusted me. But apparently this video tapping is a new thing because no one knows.

. You can recorded in public without your permission
Your facility is not a public place.

MunoRN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience.

For the purposes of videotaping and a right to privacy, it's not about location but situation; two people in the same physical location can have two completely difference expectations of privacy. Your right to privacy exists when you can claim a 'reasonable expectation of privacy', which is probably best understand as being a place where you should feel comfortable taking your clothes off. In a patient's hospital room, it's generally acceptable for a patient to, for instance, change their clothes. If the nurse walked into the patient's room and took of their clothes, obviously that wouldn't be generally acceptable.

Legally, yes patients do have a right to videotape their nurse, the nurse does not have an expectation of privacy, despite being in a non-public building. The facility can have rules against videotaping, but it's important to remember how this differs compared to an actual law. Really the only thing the facility can do if someone breaks their rule is to trespass the person, they can't confiscate the camera or phone as that would be theft and potentially assault.

When I worked as a CNA, there was a resident who was recording the staff. I probably never would have known that had another CNA not clued me in. The resident was a very hateful person and showed that hateful side even more when I insisted on going in with a witness and made comments about her activities as I opened up her drawer to expose her recorder. If I could have refused to care for her I would have done so. Unfortunately, the facility management didn't really care one way or the other. After all, they supported a CNA who used to hide in the building to smoke pot on duty.

I would insist on following up with this matter. If the facility will not support the staff, then I would consider this a matter important enough to seek other employment.

imintrouble, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC Rehab Med/Surg. Has 16 years experience.

I have an "Icky" barometer. If something a patient does, or asks me to do, sets off my "Icky" alarm, I won't do it.

The rules are the rules, I know them and will enforce them. There are some things though, that don't exactly fit any know rule. For those things I refuse, then follow up with my supervisor.

I've had to do things that scream Icky, but I do it anyway to keep my job.

Other things I've stood my ground and said NO.

I would not have allowed a patient to videotape me.

I just love how crazy the idea is. "I'm going to videotape you doing what I'm trying to prove you aren't doing."

My response: Ma'am, our policy restricts video/photography. I will return with your medications once you turn off the camera. Please use your call light to notify me that you are ready to comply with hospital policy.

I think legally, MunoRN has the correct answer. It's wrong and we don't like it, but I've had a suspicion that this was the actual case regarding the law.

That may in fact be the law, but there is no law that requires you to subject yourself to it. Law or no law, I would not work under those circumstances. I don't deserve that.

Surprised1, MSN, RN

Specializes in pediatric neurology and neurosurgery. Has 8 years experience.

Our security guards are very protective of us nurses. If a patient or visitor does something like that, security gladly pays them a little visit to explain the rules. Management backs us up.

If it is me I am opting out of starring in the patient's film of their hospital stay. We have rights too. I would put in writing my desire to opt out of care of the patient who insists upon video taping in the hope of capturing something which is worthwhile of a lawsuit. Nope, my malpractice insurer would likely back me up too.

lifelearningrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 6 years experience.

At the LTC facility I just left, there is a sign posted on the door as you enter the building claiming that some residents, or resident families may have video monitoring devices set up on their behalf.

I believe there are probably "nanny cams" in more than one room. I just go and do my job to the best of my ability and assume cameras are watching. Sad truth of our "Big Brother" society. Even sadder, family feels the need to record things to make sure their loved one isn't being abused. :(


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