Nurses’ Professionalism and Social Media

The mass media, in particular social networks, have an increasing influence on society. People read the information on social networks and may believe an unreliable source or interpret it mistakenly, which leads to severe consequences for the community and health workers. The post with a photo about the coronavirus vaccine’s possible negative impact is wrong because it violates professional behavior standards, HIPAA privacy, and Christian values.

The person’s picture in a coma and description of the vaccine’s effect on specific individuals may cause disputes. I wrote a post about the potential side effects of the injection since all people tolerate drugs differently. This column was written to acquaint people and warn them about probable consequences, but not scare them. However, such a message has sparked a debate on political topics and the incompetence of vaccine advocates. A person who is not sufficiently aware of medical drugs’ effects may think that medical staff tries to harm them because of political or personal beliefs, hence the topic raises many controversial issues.

Nurses are responsible for upholding a standard of conduct consistent with the nursing profession’s standards in their personal lives and at work to protect the nursing profession’s reputation and careers. Society can interpret controversial topics as the lack of professionalism of the employee or the clinic. Therefore, nurses can face unpleasant consequences for spreading insufficiently clear and controversial information, such as fines, dismissal, and revocation of their license. (Selekman et al., 2019). For example, using biased and profanity-laden post language and discussing individual cases in the comments can lead to dismissal. Nation comprehends medical workers as a part of the state system, so it is crucial to think about message medical staff addresses in social networks.

Personal privacy may violate HIPAA or be considered unethical or unprofessional if it violates a patient’s confidentiality or privacy. HIPAA bases its principles on the preservation of the confidential data of each individual. According to Hao and Gao (2017), the violation of a patient’s privacy when using social media can be unintentional and intentional and can occur in various ways. For example, a nurse may write an article about a patient’s medical history without getting permission or presenting his name, and it would be considered a rights violation. Confidentiality of the patient’s health status is the fundamental principle of providing medical services, so nurses can not post a photo without permission.

Keeping information about the patients is an area of social media activity that reflects Christian values related to respect for human values and dignity. As Hao and GAO (2017) noted, patient confidentiality includes their expectations and rights to be treated with dignity. When patients ‘ privacy is violated, even unintentionally, it can cause inmates to feel that they have lost their honor and therapeutic relationship with aides.

Nurses can improve the area of social activity by providing links to official trusted sources. According to Chism (2019), healthcare professionals must respect professional boundaries when using social media. For example, when a patient asks for some information about the vaccine’s reliability, nurses should redirect them to the official website or community based on fighting against coronavirus. Nurses need to be careful while conversing with the public, as personal bias is mixed with a professional’s ethics.

Social networks can significantly influence the public’s opinion on medical issues. A posted assignment can convince people not to get the coronavirus vaccine and cause political controversy. Failure to comply with the standards of conduct threatens health workers with fines, dismissal, and license revocation. Violation of the confidentiality rules is a disturbance of the principal report of the medical sphere. The preservation of human dignity is an essential component of Christian values. It is better not to publish controversial information on personal social pages, but to direct people to official sources; this will help avoid conflict situations. Writing thoughtful posts on health workers’ pages is the key to a successful professional activity and a peaceful personal life.


Chism, L. (2019). The doctor of nursing practice: A guidebook for role development and professional issues. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Hao, J., & Gao, B. (2017). Advantages and disadvantages for nurses of using social media. Journal of Primary Health Care and General Practice, 1(1), pp.1-4. Web.

Selekman, J., Shannon, R., & Yonkaitis, C. (2019). School nursing: A comprehensive text. F. A. Davis.

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NursingBird. "Nurses' Professionalism and Social Media." June 14, 2022.