Nurses can use social media to their professional advantage or peril. Cynthia Saver, MS, RN, president of CLS Development Inc. and a speaker on the topic, shares what nurses need to know to achieve social media success.
Being on social media is a must for nurses wanting to advance their careers or achieve recognition, Saver said.
At a minimum, I think that means having an account on LinkedIn and following the appropriate groups or thought leaders on Twitter, she said.
+ Social media allows nurses to:
1. Engage colleagues they might not have the opportunity to otherwise meet. Social media offers a great opportunity for networking, if youre looking for a new job or to collaborate with colleagues, Saver said.
2. Quickly and efficiently learn about healthcare trends and new clinical information. For example, many associations announce on Twitter that theyve published new guidelines, giving their Twitter followers a heads up on the information.
3. Share their professional passions with large audiences. Whether your passion as a nurse is to take care of HIV patients or educate new mothers about breast-feeding, social media offers an expansive platform where you can blog, Tweet, post and share valuable insight with patients, colleagues and others.
– Social media misuse could:
1. Result in privacy violations. Protecting patient privacy on the Internet means more than not publishing names, Saver said. Avoid giving any information specific to patients, ever.
2. Blur professional-personal boundaries.Friending patients on your personal Facebook page is a no-no, Saver said.
3. Stay on the Internet for all to see, indefinitely. Just because you delete something doesnt mean it is gone. Sites like www.WayBackMachine.com archive inactive Internet sites. If youre posting something you might want to delete, its best not to post it, Saver said.
For more social media tips, visit www.Nurse.com/Social-Media-Pitfalls.