Nurses who don't use social media may soon find themselves left behind. Trust —the hallmark of the nurse-patient relationship—is compromised when nurses. Nowadays social media and more participatory forms of the Internet are playing .. how this affects the patient–health professional relationship. Nursing, Privacy and the Risks of Social Media are important when we consider that the only relationship between a nurse and their patient.
Breaches in confidentiality Defamation; and Breaking professional boundaries. Obviously they are serious concerns that can have far reaching implications not only for yourself, but your colleagues and patients too. There are also Social Media Guidelines published by the Australian College of Nursingand the Australian College of Midwives that you should acquaint yourselves with. Patient Confidentiality As a health professional, you have an ethical and legal responsibility to safeguard the confidentiality of your patients at all times.
Most of what is posted on social media sites ends up indexed and archived on search engines.
Primary care nurses’ experiences of how the mass media influence frontline healthcare in the UK
Imagine if a friend or loved one of a patient was trying to find out more about their condition or treatment, and found a photo of them with their medical history online.
Bullying and Harassment Unfortunately we all know it occurs in the workplace, and social media makes it all too easy for it to hit you at home too. The flip side to that is defamation. It can be incredibly easy to go home after a long day at work and vent about one of your colleagues on social media.
Not only is this a form of bullying that can cause tense working relationships, it can also lead to you being prosecuted under the Defamation Actwhere Australia adopted unified defamation legislation. Professional Boundaries with Patients It can be difficult enough to separate work from your personal life at the best of times.
Professional boundaries are important when we consider that the only relationship between a nurse and their patient should be solely therapeutic. Unfortunately, social media makes it incredibly easy for patients to find you online, and attempt contact on a more personal level.
In our study, primary care nurses often referred to the MMR controversy played out in the media as having a significant negative impact on vaccination uptake; the repercussions of which are being felt a decade later with recent measles outbreaks in parts of the UK.
It is important to note that while the media can influence the public in the formation of social-level judgments, studies have shown that people often rely on interpersonal channels such as social networks, family and friends to help shape their perceptions of health risks [ 4950 ]. However, some research indicates that, especially during high levels of publicity, health stories in the media can be more influential than interpersonal sources [ 30 ].
This indicates that providing accurate and up-to-date information to counterbalance inaccuracies in media stories may assist health professionals to confidently discuss and share best evidence with patients, while taking account of their personal views and preferences.
In our findings, primary care nurses were aware of the common pitfalls of mass media reporting, but sympathised with patients about the alarmist and fear-evoking nature of some news reports. They too recalled times in their own careers when media reports contributed to a loss in their confidence and trust towards certain healthcare practices and treatments. Although healthcare professionals are expected to use critical appraisal skills to interpret health information, it has been acknowledged that emotions can override analytical reasoning [ 51 ].
Primary care nurses’ experiences of how the mass media influence frontline healthcare in the UK
All of the participants who took part in our study were female, with over three quarters being mothers, and some discussed being torn by strong maternal and emotional instincts when confronted with an influx of media stories reporting on unsafe treatments for children.
Emotional stories were discussed as being more powerful and engaging than dry facts and figures. In the psychological literature, emotion is widely considered to play a core role in decision-making, as people form judgments not only from what they think but also from what they feel [ 52 ]. Dual processing theory [ 53 ] proposes that there are two systems at work in the formation of judgments and decisions.
The intuitive system is fast-acting, automatic, emotion- and intuition-based, heuristic-forming, experiential and unconscious, while the deliberative system is slower-acting, cognitive, rational, logical, analytical and conscious.
In evidence-based medicine, there is a strong reliance on rational, critical and scientific inquiry, which aligns with deliberative thinking and with patients being encouraged to use deliberative and analytical processes to appraise options [ 54 ]. Within the wider literature, the importance of using intuitive and experience-based tacit forms of knowledge in decision-making is recognised [ 55 - 58 ], with evidence of people using both intuitive and deliberative thinking to arrive at a decision [ 59 ].
Although there may be some valid arguments for incorporating intuitive thinking into nursing practice, there are risks associated with it and this should not be at the expense of delivering safe and effective healthcare and advice [ 57 ].
Nursing Social Media Risks and Privacy | Nursing Privacy | Ausmed
Our findings indicate that in an age that is characterised by a growing availability of information, primary care nurses felt they had little support to expand their own media literacy skills and to engage and develop these skills in their patients. While media literacy is still a relatively new field of inquiry, a recent review on its effectiveness reported positive outcome effects on: Media literacy training would provide an overarching and more critical understanding of the way in which media messages are produced and framed.
However, the fundamental goal of media literacy is to maintain critical autonomy in relation to all media [ 61 ]. Therefore, providing individuals with the critical and analytical tools to better decipher media messages will help to: On a final note, although this paper primarily focused on the potential negative influences of mass media on patients and health professionals, it is important to recognise that responsible, well-informed media reporting can be an asset [ 91162 ].
Effective mass media communication can deliver important messages, facilitate public engagement in health sciences, support better decision-making in health matters and help to save lives [ 63 ].Nurse-patient relationship
This study used qualitative interviews to provide descriptive, detailed data on the subjective experiences and views of primary care nurses. Qualitative methods are recommended when a topic is relatively unexplored, as was the case in our study, and can provide contextually bound in-depth accounts. However, it is important to recognise that qualitative methods are limited in their generalisability. Another potential limitation of this research is that the health visitors and practice nurses who took part in this study were self-selected and may represent a highly engaged group within their professions.
These contextual differences could alter the relationships that health visitors and practice nurses have with their patients but in relation to media influences this did not seem to be the case from analysing their accounts.
Conclusion In conclusion, the findings from this paper indicate that healthcare professionals can be negatively influenced by mass media stories, especially at times when health controversies occur. National health organisations and academic researchers need to ensure that they are rapidly disseminating quality-assured information and effectively engaging with healthcare professionals and the public.
One way of doing this could be to make more use of social media platforms. Additionally, healthcare professionals should be encouraged to use existing official information resources aimed at making sense of media reports. We acknowledge that providing accurate information alone will not necessarily prevent patients from making biased judgements, due to the many other factors involved in decision-making.
Nurses working in primary care face increasing pressure to effectively manage media stories that dispute current health policy and practice. These primary care nurses were keen to expand their media literacy skills to develop critical autonomy in relation to all media, and to facilitate more meaningful conversations with their patients about health concerns and choices.
Competing interests We have no competing interests.
The funding body had no role in the design, collection, analysis or interpretation of this study. SH participated in the design, data collection, analysis, and in drafting the manuscript. Both authors approved the final manuscript.
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Nursing, Privacy and the Risks of Social Media
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