Ethical Issues Related to Social Media

Ethical Issues Related to Social Media

Ethical Issues Related to Social Media 150 150 Peter

Ethical Issues Related to Social Media

Discuss at least two potential ethical issues that could be of concern with nursing use of social media.

Sample Paper

Nursing Use of Social Media

Social media refer to applications and websites which are designed to help individuals share information efficiently, faster and in real-time to any part of the world (Demiray et al., 2020). Its ability to orchestrate the sharing of content such as opinions, photos, events, etc. has transformed our way of life and how activities are conducted. The same case applies to nurses. Social media has helped a lot in their service delivery through the sharing of vital information and holding a helpful discussion about their careers in social platforms. However, social media can result in ethical issues in the nursing profession. This essay is going to discuss some of the potential ethical issues that can arise from inappropriate social media use in the nursing profession.

Most of the times where social media and nursing do not work well is when the breaking of patient’s confidentiality and privacy happens. The nursing ethics requires that patient’s information should only be shared among the healthcare givers who are dealing with a particular patient (Demiray et al., 2020). Any other information sharing should only happen if consent is sought from the patient before sharing any data about them. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing noted that a small breach of trust could irreversibly ruin the relationship a patient and a caregiver. It can also harm the public view of the trustworthy in the nursing profession. Some examples of ethical issues are discussed below.

Sharing Information

Nurses, just like any other group of people, may like to share their feelings or a bit of their routine lives in social media. That is okay as long as they do not involve patient’s data, and their sharing is on a professional level. However, some nurses go ahead and share information about their patients on social platforms such as Facebook. It does not matter whether the information on bad or good light – it is a breach of privacy and confidentiality (Lachman, 2016). This is because it publishes data that the patient may not want it to be publicly acknowledged or shared. Even when the name of the patient is not mentioned, it is still unethical because someone may happen to know the description of the specific patient and end up revealing their identity.

An example is when a nurse shares a photo of a terminally ill patient who she had helped until the patient got healed. This is an achievement for the nurse. However, pasting the photo on her Facebook account is a breach of confidentiality. Even when the name of the patient is not attached, someone may recognize the patient, damaging their privacy and ruining the trust that exists between and a healthcare provider.

Posting Unprofessional Behavior

Many nurses think that the content shared privately among individuals or on personal social media accounts cannot be subjected to professional scrutiny. However, any information shared by a nurse can be scrutinized to check whether they shared sensitive data or unprofessional behaviors. Unprofessional behaviors include actions reflecting unethical conducts that may have adverse effects on the nursing profession (Demiray et al., 2020). For example, sharing photos while smoking weed or taking alcohol and indulging in sexual behaviors can paint a bad picture of the nursing career. The public will start to doubt whether a drunk or smoked nurse will be able to provide quality care to their patients. According to American Nurse Today, such behaviors, when detected, can lead to unprofessional behavior charges in a court of law.

In conclusion, social media has both positive and negative impact on the nursing profession. However, nurses should embrace the positive contributions of social media and avoid engaging in activities that might result in unethical issues which may portray a bad picture of the nursing career.