Social Media and the Healthcare Traveler

by Howard Gerber on April 16, 2015

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Social media has become a part of most people’s lives. As a healthcare traveler, social media can have both advantages and disadvantages. While it can be a great way to stay in touch, using social media responsibly is critical.

Social Media Has its Place for Healthcare Travelers

As a healthcare traveler, using social media can be the perfect way to stay
social-media-healthcare-job-nurse-hospital-policyconnected. In today’s busy world, you may not always have time to write a letter or talk on the phone. But most people have time to send a tweet, post a picture, or leave a quick comment on a friend’s Facebook page. Using social media can help you stay in contact with people you care about. Social media can also be a great way to promote yourself and network with others in your field. Although social media has its benefits, it can have its downsides, too.

Using Social Media Responsibly

One thing to keep in mind is who can see what you write or post on various social media sites. For instance, you might have posted a few pictures from a great time at a crazy party you went to a few weeks ago. The pictures may be fun for you and close friends, but how would you feel if a potential employer or a supervisor from your new travel assignment saw the pics?

The thing to remember is what you post on the Internet may be viewed by more people than you intended. While it may not be necessary to stop posting things on social media sites, you may want to take a close look at your security and privacy settings to determine who can view what.

Also, be careful if you are posting anything about your healthcare job. If you post a comment or picture about a bad night at work or a particularly difficult case, it can violate patient privacy laws. Many employees have been fired from their jobs because of things they posted on Facebook or other social media sites.

Anything you post that could identify a patient is a bad idea. Although a comment or a picture may be innocent enough, it can still get you into trouble. Just because you do not give specifics or name a patient does not mean it will not be seen as a privacy violation. It is always better to err on the side of caution and skip any posts or pics that could inadvertently identify a patient.

It is also advisable to read your hospital’s social media policy. With the popularity of social media, most facilities have developed a policy. A social media policy is a set of guidelines for employees to follow regarding content they post on the Internet. It may also state restrictions on logging in to social media sites using company computers. As a healthcare traveler, don’t assume one facility you worked for has the same social media policy as the next.

Social media is here to stay, which means we all need to be mindful of what we post, tweet, or comment on – and who might view it.

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