Patients Filming You

Nurses General Nursing

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Specializes in Critical Care.

I have had a number of patients who tried video recording - especially during COVID. There was def a trend... like, most of those patients or family members with them were there b/c the patient had chronic issues (ex: ESRD, transplant, etc). When it turns into a control thing it is bad.

As nurses it is part of our responsibility to protect patient's privacy, too. We cannot have people just going around in the hospitals recording staff and patients just like that. It is not right. It also does not matter if you "have nothing to hide." Things recorded can be SO misconstrued and manipulated... why accept being put at risk? 


1 Article; 198 Posts

Specializes in nursing ethics.

Seems audacious to me for patients or visitors to film anyone. It is so easy and sly with phones. I know that some nurses film themselves...on the internet, with the names blurred.

I wouldn't like it, at all. In some cases, can you confiscate the phone or camera?

canoehead, BSN, RN

6,880 Posts

Specializes in ER.

I don't want anyone to take my photo without my permission, and I certainly don't want to be on film. If asked beforehand, probably would be fine with being filmed when I'm teaching a skill. I'd even be OK with video setup in a patients room for their protection, but I WOULDNT be OK with being secretly recorded. It's all about the setting. If we're working together to achieve a goal, fine, vrs someone is just making a decision without talking with everyone affected first. 

I don't know why we need to chart anymore, with the technology available to just record every intervention. Maybe I should be careful what I wish for.

Specializes in NICU.

Always politely refuse,if they don't I tell them I am in a witness protection program.

Nothing good will come out of forcibly filming someone trying to do their job,theyare  usually just looking for lawsuit dollars.Just look at the comments of ignorance on tik tok,claiming patient is being hurt, wrong room temp, during perfectly normal care.

Ruby Vee, BSN

47 Articles; 14,026 Posts

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

I went to great lengths to hide from the ex-husband who tried to murder me.  I moved a few thousand miles, changed my last name AND my first name and educated my family about NOT giving out any contact information to ANYONE.  I informed all my friends that I did not want my photo showing up on any social media, no matter how private or locked down they believe their account to be.  Then some educators giving a workshop wanted to record me because I was "interesting, articulate and had a lot to teach.”  I politely said no.  They persisted.  They insisted.  They wheedled, they said "It will only be seen by people in the profession for educational purposes.”  Did I mention that the attempted murderer is also a nurse?

I've also had patient families try to record me — usually not in a teaching situation, but in a "this is Dad's favorite nurse" situation or a "this is the (bad word meaning female dog) who wouldn't let us bring Dad's trained attack dog up to the ICU to visit" situation.  I do not want to be recorded for any reason, but it's really not appropriate to share the exact reason or my domestic violence history with patients or families.  Sigh.  Fortunately, my former boss had a strict "No recording" policy and was willing to go to bat for us.  My current boss . . . not so much.

Emergent, RN

4,218 Posts

Specializes in ER.

I actually worked with the CNA that I'm pretty sure was in the witness protection program. He was living in a remote area of the Pacific NW, and had a Central American wife, and told me that he used to have a really nice boat and used to go down to Central America all the time in it. He was a Black guy from Los Angeles, living in a very white area, and I asked him "How did you end up here?" He became extremely evasive and was totally opposed to having me take any photograph of him. He was a great coworker. 

FullGlass, BSN, MSN, NP

2 Articles; 1,590 Posts

Specializes in Psychiatric and Mental Health NP (PMHNP).
Asystole RN said:

HIPAA only applies to covered entities, not everyone. You as a healthcare provider who accepts Medicare dollars must comply to it but the patient is immune to HIPAA. 

The patient does not have the right to violate the privacy of other patients.  For example, if the patient is in a room with other patients, they don't have the right to make a film that includes other patients.


11,853 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU, Transport, L&D, Hospice.

This is an interesting discussion with many well articulated points.  

The first amendment allows us certain recording privileges in public venues, but most health care settings are private businesses with an obligation to protect individual privacy.  Hospitals tend to allow video and still photo photography in places like labor and delivery rooms.  Home health settings are very different. 

It's easy to understand why private health businesses would limit photography and videography in our litigious society.   It's also easy to understand that there are millions of people who have had less than great experiences with a fractured and dangerous health system that too often prioritizes profit over patients. A video record of an interaction  can be protective of everyone.  

Hospitals can have security remove anyone who refuses to comply with privacy policy. 

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