Did I break HIPAA?

  1. I was asked to resign from my internship today because of some things I posted on my Snapchat. Someone took pictures of my snap stories on someone else's phone so that I couldn't see who screenshotted my stories. I asked my boss what I was being fired for because I didn't think I broke HIPAA. My Snapchats had my face in them, with the hospital location. One of them said, "Help, I have four C. diff patients today." Another one stated, "Thank god my patient is restrained" (and in the following snap it showed my bruises and scrapes from my patient, which was not shown to my boss). The next one was of an RN and an MD facing away from me, it said: "When an RN has to teach an MD how to do their job." Their faces were not in the photo. When I asked my boss to explain to me how this violated HIPAA, she looked at me and yelled: "Are you kidding me." There were no patient names, room numbers, or faces. I understand that posting to social media was wrong, I really would wish for no negative comments as I have been beating myself up for this. Can someone please explain how I broke HIPAA.
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    About brunette2296

    Joined: Feb '18; Posts: 1
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    29 Comments

  3. by   RNKPCE
    You may not have broken HIPAA but you probably broke the facilities social media policy. This can be grounds for termination.
  4. by   oceangirl1234
    Oh man....I won't say anything negative but I hope you can take this as a learning experience. Nursing isn't glamorous...I don't know who gave you the impression it was.
  5. by   chare
    I'm curious as to how you thought that any of that was appropriate.

    If they allowed you to resign, rather than than terminating you, you were very fortunate indeed.
  6. by   KeeperMom
    I seriously hope you use this as a very hard lesson learned and never make these mistakes again.
    While you may not have violated HIPAA, you certainly have violated most facility's social media policy. Also, it was highly unprofessional of you. In no circumstance are these appropriate posts. Going forward, you should never, ever post anything remotely close to work-related issues or even hint at a work issue. Just don't do it.
    Our facility has gone so far as to look at an applicant's social media pages. We aren't hiring anyone with questionable posts that involve a current employer or university.

    You are on an internship so consider that as an on-going job interview. Quite frankly, you are lucky you didn't get fired.
  7. by   Triddin
    I was honestly cringing as I read what you posted. I never post about work- good or bad. Anything you post, especially when you identify yourself as an employee of an organization can be grounds for termination
  8. by   Sue Damonas
    Why would you think this was okay to post?
  9. by   traumaRUs
    Most hospitals have rules about social media and photos. It is a fireable offense at the hospital where I work to take ANY picture
  10. by   JustBeachyNurse
    Why you would take pictures at work and post with unprofessional commentary while TAGGING the facility!! Tagging a location alert can be generated to the business/facility
    Last edit by JustBeachyNurse on Feb 9
  11. by   crochetmamaRN
    Consider it a lesson learned the hard way. Leave your phone in your locker while on duty. There is no reason, ever, to snap anything work related, while on duty (or ever, truthfully). Every snap you sent out was degrading and unprofessional. Please remember, you are an ambassador for your hospital and need to act as such. As a nurse you are a respected professional in the health care team.
  12. by   JKL33
    This can't be real.

    If it is, I'm sorry but I think it's just as well. These things most certainly have been taught to you all through nursing school.
  13. by   hppygr8ful
    Quote from chare
    I'm curious as to how you thought that any of that was appropriate.

    If they allowed you to resign, rather than than terminating you, you were very fortunate indeed.
    While none of this is appropriate I believe the OP my have fallen for the idea that Snap Chats are private and disappear after a few minutes so safe to use. I work adolescent psych and tell my patients all the time that if you put something on social media it's there forever and will catch up to you sooner or later. Never post anything about work on any Social Media platform.

    Hppy
  14. by   Ruas61
    HIPPA or not, you were terminated for poor judgement.

    You doing a snap chat saga on your termination?

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