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Off-shooting the "NYMed" post


So I was reading the thread about the NYMed episode where the nurse was fired for posting a pic on social media (I didn't see the episode so only going by what was posted here) and wondering about this. I would never even think of taking a picture of anything/anyone at a hospital or wherever I am doing clinicals or end up working at. However, I am curious as to where the line is drawn on this...I have an app which has tons of pictures of patients, xrays, CTs, lab reports, etc. All have any pertinent info blacked out, including faces, arm bands, etc. I have learned a LOT from this app, from looking through the pictures and the comments on them...BUT, I often wonder how in the world do people get these pics in the hospital setting? I can't imagine lying in the ED and someone coming in and snapping a shot.

So I am just curious where that line is at? Technically anyone can download these apps, so while I appreciate them for their teaching potential, is it over the line?

Kuriin, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency. Has 5 years experience.

Many patients will actually provide consent to getting pictures of them taken. However, taking pictures of charts is not something I would do.

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

Some are from family. When I was in pacu clinical poor teen was swollen and bloody, drooling and in a post anesthesia haze. Cousin/sister/friend started snapping photos with her phone and posting to Facebook.

The charge nurse stepped in and asked her to stop as potential for others to be in the shot


Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

In addition to what these guys have said, there are actually medical photographers (have a friend that does this in the military). He photographs interesting cases with the consent of the patient for medical journals, educational materials, etc.

Photos may also be taken when a person is admitted and throughout their care (for example, they arrive with a pressure ulcer, this would be photographed in the ED and periodically throughout their stay). The patient can consent to these photos being used if, for whatever reason, someone wants to use them. There's a whole process behind this. It's not usually some nurse posting it from their camera phone to an app.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

There is an educational exception to HIPAA