Is this legal?

Posted
by jessimee jessimee Member

Specializes in Med-surg (peds and adult). Has 8 years experience.

I'm just curious about the legality of something. There is a newly minted FNP in my neighborhood who frequents the neighborhood Facebook page giving medical advice. There was a discussion going on today about the flu shot and she made the statement that her "Advanced practice degree trumps your Google research" and yes, you should get the flu shot. I know her a bit--we've met a few times, but something about her touting her degree and accompanying it with advice feels not quite right. I'd hate for her to get in trouble. What do you all think?

Sour Lemon

Has 12 years experience. 5,016 Posts

I'm just curious about the legality of something. There is a newly minted FNP in my neighborhood who frequents the neighborhood Facebook page giving medical advice. There was a discussion going on today about the flu shot and she made the statement that her "Advanced practice degree trumps your Google research" and yes, you should get the flu shot. I know her a bit--we've met a few times, but something about her touting her degree and accompanying it with advice feels not quite right. I'd hate for her to get in trouble. What do you all think?

Sounds "general" enough not to be an issue, IMO.

sallyrnrrt, ADN, RN

Specializes in critical care, ER,ICU, CVSURG, CCU. 2,395 Posts

Social media is a killer with most Bon, regardless of you degree

Guest219794

Guest219794

2,453 Posts

I'm just curious about the legality of something. There is a newly minted FNP in my neighborhood who frequents the neighborhood Facebook page giving medical advice. There was a discussion going on today about the flu shot and she made the statement that her "Advanced practice degree trumps your Google research" and yes, you should get the flu shot. I know her a bit--we've met a few times, but something about her touting her degree and accompanying it with advice feels not quite right. I'd hate for her to get in trouble. What do you all think?

It is very kind of you too look out for her. Pretty sure she will be A-OK telling people to get a flu shot.

jessimee

jessimee

Specializes in Med-surg (peds and adult). Has 8 years experience. 40 Posts

It is very kind of you too look out for her. Pretty sure she will be A-OK telling people to get a flu shot.

That's just one example. She does get more detailed with her advice.

LovingLife123

LovingLife123

1,573 Posts

Why would it not be legal? How many times are we asked for medical advice in life? Her statement just shows her frustration with people using google for advice on vaccinations.

FolksBtrippin, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Community, Nurse Manager. Has 6 years experience. 2,070 Posts

It's not illegal for an FNP to give advice on facebook. Why would you think otherwise?

LifelongNursing

LifelongNursing, MSN, RN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Adult Gerontology Acute Care. 1 Article; 31 Posts

Maybe not illegal but certainly may introduce certain situations where this is unethical. She cannot possibly recommend the flu shot to each and every person on any sort of social media without first knowing each person's background, medical history, etc. At the very least, I would say this is not a good idea generally on social media without giving a disclaimer of "always ask your primary healthcare provider" etc.

KatieMI, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 9 years experience. 1 Article; 2,674 Posts

It is "legal" in terms of that everyone is almost completely free to leave almost whatever on Facebook, forever connected with his or her first and last name. How the Boards will look upon it if something happens, is entirely different question. Even if she asked out of pure frustration, and even if what she writes there is entirely evidence-based information, it is a still a good question. I definitely wouldn't like to be a person about whom the Boards might be concerned about it.

jessimee

jessimee

Specializes in Med-surg (peds and adult). Has 8 years experience. 40 Posts

FolksBtrippin, I was asking. I wasn't sure if there were legalities involved in making an assumption of an established provider-client relationship. There is some assumption of liability when giving advice to your neighbors...

Edited by jessimee
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elkpark

14,633 Posts

This sounds like an "MYOB" situation to me. What concern is it of yours, really, what she is doing or saying on Facebook?

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

That's just one example. She does get more detailed with her advice.

If she oversteps her bounds and gets good and burned for her ill-advised efforts, that will be on her. Nobody with her background should have to be warned not to be giving out medical advice willy nilly. If it were me, I would not even want to be aggravated or irritated by the situations that are probably occurring off the clock on social media. I would think she would be busy enough at her place of employment not to want to take time to do this advising when she could be enjoying her personal life.