Analysis

Let Twitter and Facebook improve rather than ruin your practice

Even though social media is a part of everyday life, many nurses seem wary of using it in their practice.

A Nursing Standard survey shows more than three quarters (76%) of people polled say nurses should never discuss work matters on social media.

Nurse Vicki Thomas (left) gets some tweeting tips from WeNurses founder Teresa Chinn

Picture credit: Chris Balcombe

This is a more dogged stance than even the regulator takes.

Nursing and Midwifery Council guidance says social networks can benefit nurses, for example by giving them somewhere to discuss specific issues, research and clinical experiences. It goes on to advise nurses how to do this while maintaining patient confidentiality.

But the fact that some nurses have fallen foul of the Code because of their social media use might be responsible for nervousness among healthcare professionals.

A request to the NMC under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that 20 nurses underwent fitness to practise proceedings because of social media misuse between 2012 and 2015.

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