Can nurses decline to be videotaped?

  1. I'm relatively new here so I'm not sure if this has been addressed already, and no one at work could find a written policy about it so here goes:

    I worked with a great laboring couple last night. Near end of shift, I got ready to start an IV per MD orders. All of a sudden, Dad gets out the camcorder and starts taping me do the IV. As soon as it was in, the camcorder was shut off and Dad sat back down. It was a quite unnerving.

    It was the only part of my pt's labor that had been videotaped all night. I always use aseptic technique, and it was a great stick. Nonetheless, I find it disconcerting that while I have very specific rules to follow regading patient privacy, it seems that patients do not care to respect mine.

    I know of some MDs and anesthesiologists who won't allow their work to be videotaped, but can a nurse ask for the camera to be turned off as well?

    I think it's great that some couples want their birth to be taped, and I undrstand that my arm, face, or whatever might be captured on film. I don't feel it's approprate, though, to have a health care provider be the sole focus of a recording while performing an invasive procedure.

    Do any of you have specific policies regarding the videotaping of health care providers at work? How do you respectfully ask for the camera to be turned off when the focus is on you?
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    About daisybaby

    Joined: Jan '05; Posts: 229; Likes: 79

    13 Comments

  3. by   Blackcat99
    Yes nurses also have the right to decline to be videotaped. I would not want to be videotaped at any time.
  4. by   traumaRUs
    Yes, you can decline to be videotaped. Personally, I would never allow it. However, I work in the ER and I don't allow pictures either.
  5. by   hikernurse
    The policy in our hospital (at least in L&D) is that while the birth may be videotaped (with the approval of medical staff involved); procedures, like starting an IV, may not. That seems pretty reasonable, I wouldn't want to be videotaped myself.
  6. by   Cassinia
    You have the right not to be videotaped. If dad wants to tape you, he has to have your consent, usually in writing. My son in high school had to sign a release to have his pictures used in a Senior Class video and when some kids were doing projects with videos. If the family is still there, inform dad he needs your written consent and he has invaded your privacy as well. Definitely take this up with your supervisor; your hosp. may need to include this in their P&P. Of coarse for deposition, you may need to be videotaped, but that's a whole different ballgame.
  7. by   daisybaby
    Thanks for your input. I wish I had spoken up when it happened- if it happens again, I'll be ready to firmly request that the camera be turned off so I can focus on my patient, not on lights/camera/action
  8. by   tntrn
    Last week, I think, I saw a TV news article regarding this very topic. It seemed to say that the big hospitals in Seattle (Swedish) are tackling this topic. Of course, all the films they showed were of c/sections, but the same concerns apply. Videos can be edited, and laypeople are always anxious to give their opinion about how it should have been done.

    I let my patients know that they must have the permission of any staff people who are in the room at the time. And just because Nurse Suzy gave me permission at noon, doesn't mean that I give mine at 1700!
  9. by   Tweety
    Quote from daisybaby
    Thanks for your input. I wish I had spoken up when it happened- if it happens again, I'll be ready to firmly request that the camera be turned off so I can focus on my patient, not on lights/camera/action

    Now that you know how it feels. I think you will speak up. Hopefully, most people will respect your wishes if you put it diplomatically. Especially if you present it like the videotaping is so distracting it might affect the care his loved one gets.
  10. by   mattsmom81
    I've handled this lightly by saying with a smile 'I work better without an audience'..I have used this line successfully to get nosy family members out of the room as well.

    Some need a more blunt approach.

    I'm glad some facilities have made it a policy to refuse videotapes of staff performing procedures...I can only imagine attorneys and their 'expert witnesses' salivating and picking apart every detail in videotapes. I don't care to work under intense scrutiny myself...imagine how the cops feel out there with all the phone cams today.
  11. by   fergus51
    I've been there and told the parents to turn off the camera. I've even had parents who wanted to videotape their infant undergoing IV/PICC insertions and surgical procedures. It's bizarre.
  12. by   kmchugh
    I agree with what everyone else has said. I do not allow family members to videotape while I am performing any procedure, including IV's or epidurals. However, I don't approach it as "you have invaded my privacy." That just seems a bit confrontational to me, and is asking for dad to get uppity. I just generally tell them that I don't like the distraction of a video camera while I am doing XXX. So far, that has been sufficient. However, I always have it in the back of my mind that if pushed, I can offer the family member the option of leaving the room while the procedure is performed (yes, confrontational, I know).

    Kevin McHugh
  13. by   Nurse Ratched
    Another great reason to work psych .
  14. by   mstigerlily
    Our hospital has a policy that procedures not be videotaped and patients must all sign this paper upon admission. I believe it is a liability issue.


    Quote from daisybaby
    I'm relatively new here so I'm not sure if this has been addressed already, and no one at work could find a written policy about it so here goes:

    I worked with a great laboring couple last night. Near end of shift, I got ready to start an IV per MD orders. All of a sudden, Dad gets out the camcorder and starts taping me do the IV. As soon as it was in, the camcorder was shut off and Dad sat back down. It was a quite unnerving.

    It was the only part of my pt's labor that had been videotaped all night. I always use aseptic technique, and it was a great stick. Nonetheless, I find it disconcerting that while I have very specific rules to follow regading patient privacy, it seems that patients do not care to respect mine.

    I know of some MDs and anesthesiologists who won't allow their work to be videotaped, but can a nurse ask for the camera to be turned off as well?

    I think it's great that some couples want their birth to be taped, and I undrstand that my arm, face, or whatever might be captured on film. I don't feel it's approprate, though, to have a health care provider be the sole focus of a recording while performing an invasive procedure.

    Do any of you have specific policies regarding the videotaping of health care providers at work? How do you respectfully ask for the camera to be turned off when the focus is on you?
    Last edit by mstigerlily on Oct 26, '06

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