Nowadays in modern technologies, electronics are said to be ubiquitous part of people’s life, including social media. Social media is described to be forms of interaction among people in a way that there is an exchange, creation, sharing of ideas and information in virtual networks and communities. The primary examples of social media are twitter, Snapchat, Vimeo, Facebook and Instagram accounts. For most individuals, social media helps people to keep in touch with their extended families and friends. Additionally, some individuals use social media to find people around the globe with likes, interest, and application to network career opportunities. Also, there’s sharing of insight, thoughts, emotions, and feelings, which make and individual feel even better.
Social media has saturated different industries, and one of them is nursing, where it allows the nurses to connect with both their professional, personal lives, facilitate conversation with colleagues and talk about healthcare advances. As many people describe social media to add to the nursing workload, it simplifies their work enhancing care to the patients. Besides, patients have been able to use social media to engage themselves to peer support, reduces social isolation, and help in the management of their condition, which has benefited them a lot. The primary purpose of the research is to give an outline of the dangers and benefits of using social media in nursing and also different behaviors that nurses need to observe when using social media.
Health care organizations include pharmacy benefits companies, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare systems, and professionals’ societies. They use social media for different purposes. In most cases, they use it in enhancing organizational visibility, establishing venue for acquiring news about various activities, providing channels for patients' resources and communicating with both the patients and communities (O’Connor, and Holloway, 2019, pp.190). According to the statistics done, 70 % of healthcare use social media, mostly Facebook, YouTube, and twitter. Studies have been conducted and discovered that social media enhances visibility and image of a healthcare. Additionally, social media improve communication between pharmacies and a large group of customers simultaneously making a patient feel they are part of pharmacy. The nonprofit healthcare organizations are also adapting to the usage social media, in where their rate is increasing, and they have been able to build relationships mostly with the patients as they give the care that they require.
Through social media, there has been a vast network globally and as a result, information can be mobilized and spread quickly to a large group of people. Therefore social media is considered to be a potent tool mostly in advocacy and public education regarding the issues of health. In some countries in the public health department, the use of twitter is implemented for different processes. An example of an organization of healthcare is Red Cross; in most cases, they use Twitter post during a natural disaster like earthquakes and hurricanes to gather all the information needed as to which places need the greatest care. Additionally, hospitals use citizen-
report blogs and monitor them so that they can acquire another potential mass events casualty (Isik, & Jallad, 2019, pp30) .Besides; the use and widespread social media influence the public health goals and behaviors that are mostly done through reinforcement of social. It happens because people are considered to be species of social, and they get the influence form their friends of friends as well as friends. An example is years back when Facebook allowed the posting of organ donor status on the user profile, and a week after the decision on the online platform; there were a total of 26 fold surges in the donor pledges.
The usage social media for direct patients is slowly being accepted by healthcare facilities and clinicians even though the HCPs are reluctant. An example is different health science universities have allowed and provide a patient with access to a platform called Web View. The platform enables the patients to contact their doctors, and they are free to ask any questions they might have. According to Miller, (2018pp.208), most physicians have developed interacting interest with most patients online and assist as much as possible. Some use Facebook and Twitter to enhance communication with their patients. According to statistics done, around 60% of physicians use social media to interact with patients as most of them claim that it’s easy to monitor a patient online, and they can encourage them, explain to them on different effects of medication. According to the studies done, when electronic communication is done with the patients, there is a high possibility that it will improve health and care outcomes. An example is Patients with chronic diseases benefit because, by the use of electronic communication, they implement the emphasis given by a physician, which improves their condition. Patient care includes the satisfaction of a person, and the time an individual spend asking questions to physician it improves their comfort.
In nursing, social media is said to improve patient access to healthcare educational resources and information mostly done through the internet. Patients can be in research, joining in communities virtual, personal track progress, goals setting, and receive support from moral and financial. Through social media, most physicians can provide and promote patients health care education using recorded videos, making blog post participating in different forums that focuses on patient education (Fredericks, Duong, & Lamaj, 2018. pp., 95). The forums are relevant because they give physicians opportunity to give out evidence of inaccurate materials on the internet, and that would be of harm patients. Additionally, through social media, different patients can connect with other patients who are suffering from the same condition and encourage each other. An example, there is a cite called Patients Like Me (www.patientslikeme.com); it is known to provide a platform for patients to get suggestions, support from people with the same disease and information. Besides, Facebook also has different groups that mostly focus on a specific medical condition, and they also engaged peer to peer support, which is very helpful.
Professional damage is one of the dangers of using social media, where one can post unprofessional content that might be unfavorable for institutions, patients and students. When using social media, one must remember that it conveys information about a person’s priorities, personality, first impression, and values, which can be lasting. Additionally, a person's perception is based on comments shared, liked photos, posts, and nicknames. In nursing, certain behaviors could be described as unprofessional due to social media. Those behaviors include; using discriminatory or language profanity, sexual intoxication images, comments that are negative about employer, school or even a patient, and violating patient privacy. According to Rana, & Kelleher, (2018, pp.910) ,the Health Care Personnel have been documented publically due to the misstep that they do on social media. Some physician has been seen posting themselves with alcohol or weapons, posting different tweets that could be harmful to a patient or even profession and also taking digital photographs during surgery.
When nurses interact with their patients it is considered to be violating patient boundary even if it’s the patient who has initiated online communication. Also, boundaries can be violated by a physician when there is the use of inappropriate information found on social media about a patient. Some physicians can use digital investigation on a patient to monitor and get information without the patient consent, like whether one had quit smoking. This kind of action is considered to be violating patients' boundaries (Langenfeld, et.al, 2014, pp.32).When a patient boundary is violated, most of them feel insecure thus having difficulties in approaching a doctor for the question using social media, and as a result patient may suffer. Additionally, most policies of healthcare organizations discourage personal online communication between a patient and nurses. When nurses use social media prudently and wisely, the platform offers an opportunity to promote public and individual health and also helps in professional advancement and development. The nurses should also follow all the guidelines given on the proper use of social media and how to separate personal matters from professionals. Additionally, the policy on the use of social media emphasizes the protection of professionalism, patient privacy, and confidentiality.
In conclusion, social media is critical in clinical settings. Through social media, there has been a vast network globally that, as a result, information can be mobilized and spread quickly to a large group of people. Most physicians have developed an interest in interacting with most patients online and assist as much as possible there are benefits of social media; they include Enhance patient care, Improves patient access to healthcare information, Helps in organizational promotion, and Creation of public health programs. Despite the benefits, social media also has some dangers like Leads to violation of patient boundary and Cause damage to a professional image. While using social media, the nurses need to separate personal life and profession from publicity.
Fredericks, S., Duong, J.A. and Lamaj, P., 2018. Using social media to network, converse, and build community within graduate nursing education. Canadian Journal of Nursing Informatics, 13(3/4).pp.80-95.
Isik, B. and Jallad, S.T., 2019. The potential of social media and nursing education: E-professionalism, nurse educator–learner role, benefits and risks. New Trends and Issues Proceedings on Advances in Pure and Applied Sciences, (11), pp.30-38.
Langenfeld, S.J., Cook, G., Sudbeck, C., Luers, T. and Schenarts, P.J., 2014. An assessment of unprofessional behavior among surgical residents on Facebook: a warning of the dangers of social media. Journal of surgical education, 71(6), pp.e28-e32.
Miller, L. A. (2018). Social media savvy: risk versus benefit. The Journal of perinatal & neonatal nursing, 32(3), pp.206-208.
O’Connor, S. and Holloway, A., 2019. Social Media in Nursing and Health Policy: A Commentary. Policy, Politics, & Nursing Practice, 20(4), pp.188-190.
Rana, S. and Kelleher, M., 2018. The Dangers of Social Media and Young Dental Patients' Body Image. Dental Update, 45(10), pp.902-910.
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