Nurses and social networking sites (Facebook, Myspace, etc)

Nurses General Nursing


Hi Everyone. I just wanted to get other people's views on something. I graduated from nursing school 5 years ago and like almost everyone (including my mother now...) I have a Facebook page. It is kept on full privacy settings, etc. Now...the hospital where I am currently working (and teaching) of course has some very long term patients (I work in Pediatrics). I have noticed that some of the nursing and support staff have become "friends" with patients (and even their parents) on Facebook. This just struck me as really odd. What are *your* thoughts?

For me, personally, I like to know my patients in the hospital. If I bump into them outside, fine, but I don't want to be connected to them 24/7 and them having access to all of my personal information and photos. For me, it's a social networking site. I may socialize and make friends with coworkers @ work, but it's still work.

So....nurses and patients being "friends" on social networking sites? Does it cross the line or is it a gray area? Was it unavoidable with the abundance of people on those sites now? Thanks for letting me pick your brain:specs:

Hey I am new grad 3 months in.I do not think it is appropiate to have friendships with pt.I do not have FB or Myspace.I especially think psy nurses to be careful about internet socializing.thanks

Specializes in ER, Medicine.

Well, the action I took might be seen as drastic, but 2 months after graduating from school I deleted my social networking pages. My private life and professional life was intermingling a little bit too much for comfort. It all got difficult to juggle. And I hated rejecting people that I knew. I didn't want to be rude or hurt feelings but at the same time I really didn't want certain people knowing my business. Even with privacy filters your private life is still made public.

I deleted it and I never looked back.

Specializes in SRNA.

I can see it now: some old patient of mine writing on my wall, asking for medical advice. No thank you!

Specializes in Derm/Wound Care/OP Surgery/LTC.

Crosses the line in so many ways. I don't even have my co-workers on my Facebook account because people can be vindictive...and I don't need screen shots of my weekend antics crossing my boss' desk someday.

I even denied my children (14 & 22) access to my FB account...cause they don't need to know that their mom swears like a sailor with her friends :)

My husband has two FB accounts. One for friends and family...another for clients/co workers. It has worked very well for him thus far...but if you google his name? Both accounts show up.

Google is not your friend.

Specializes in Oncology, radiology, ICU.

I agree that it is totally inappropriate to have pt as friends on any public social site. I will never and would never do it. I do however have co-workers both past and present as friends and have no problems with doing so. I don't post anything I don't want the entire world to see or know about me realizing that even when set to private people have ways to get around privacy settings.

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

there was a problem in another unit where nurses were photographing patients with their iphones and uploading the pictures to facebook. hr got involved and people lost their jobs over it. but really -- how could anyone believe that was appropriate behavior?

a co-worker of my sister's is notorious for sleeping at work. some snapped a picture of her sleeping and posted it on her facebook account. the sleeper: no consequences. the poster: fired. now while i agree that anyone who goes around posting pictures of a co-worker on facebook without permission needs to be disciplined, i wish something had happened to the sleeper as well. she's evaded discipline so far because there's "no proof." what do they need? a video of her snoring?

This is a pretty big issue where I work. It seems like every unit meeting we get a "facebook lecture". First it was don't be "friends" with parents because they put pictures of their babies on their page which also shows on your page so it's like you have pictures of patients on your page. Now the problem is people getting on while at work and saying they are having a bad day or wish they weren't at work. Parent "friends" are reading this and complaining. At the last meeting they threatened to take internet access off the computers because of facebook! Sigh. I understand the desire to keep up with our patients once they are discharged. But I would never use my facebook account. It is just too problematic.

Facebook is "blocked" by our IT department.

I don't need to know that much about my co-workers, honest. Seeing them on shift is enough for me most of the time.

Work friends, "life' friends, relatives, all separate from each other.

Specializes in RN, BSN, CHDN.

I dont have a problem with facebook, I dont make friends with pts outside work so they would have no business having me on FB. I have a common name so it would be difficult to find and add me which they cannot do without my permission, and I screen who I accept and who I dont.

As for taking photographs of co-workers on your phone without their permission and posting it to facebook-well suffice to say I think it is a blatant violation of somebodies privacy. I know it is frustrating when co-workers do things we dont approve of but I do not think taking photo's at work is appropriate-you never know what you may catch in the background.

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