The answer is quite simple, it depends. Social media is a powerful tool that can make or break a career. Used wisely, it can be an incredibly effective way to learn and network. When used inappropriately, it can lead to losing your nursing license, being fired, or even criminal charges. Understanding how to appropriately leverage these tools can help ensure that you are limiting your risk while reaping the benefits.
One of the biggest mistakes that anyone in the healthcare profession can do on a public forum is expose patient information. This is an immediate HIPAA violation and possible criminal charges. Keep in mind that anything shared (even if the patient cannot specifically be identified because their face is hidden or name not displayed) can only be done via informed patient consent. This would include posting videos or photos of patients, descriptions of medical conditions, or speaking poorly about a patient.
A good rule of thumb is remembering that any information you have about a patient can only be shared on a need-to-know basis. Your twitter followers do not need to know any information about a specific case nor are they authorized to by the patient.
Besides privacy concerns, there are other uses of social media that can hurt your reputation when searching for employment. A recent Monster.com poll showed that 37% employers use various forms of social networks as a method to screen potential job candidates. Often times, looking at how you present yourself on-line can be indicator of your character. You want to present yourself as someone with a hard work-ethic, compassionate, and respectful. Any posts that are demeaning to a patient, complaining about an employer, or full of offensive profane or explicit comments would have the opposite effect. Bottom line, save the venting for your co-workers and keep it off line.
Recommended Ways to Engage
There are positive ways to engage online that can help you in your job search. Sharing information that is helpful for the general population in an educational format can be impactful. Displaying yourself as a subject matter expert through methods like blogging can allow potential employers see you display your knowledge in a creative format. It also can show that you are dedicate to your field and enjoy learning.
In addition, you can utilize methods like Twitter or Facebook to share information like drug recall information or to raise awareness on specific population health topics like the importance of vaccinations or health screenings.
Assuming that you know the basics of keeping your social media presence PG, employers are also looking to see if your personality will fit into their culture. It is important to be yourself and engage in conversation around the nursing industry but keep in mind that in our connected world, you are always on a “job interview”. Things that are posted can be used as part of a hiring decision. Make sure it is the reason for an organization making a job offer instead of deciding to go with another candidate.
What is RotationManager.com?
RotationManager.com is the turnkey solution for managing clinical rotation scheduling and compliance online. Click here to schedule a free demo.