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Should nurses be allowed to use social media sites at work?

Posted by:

28 January, 2013

Trying to prevent nurses and other staff from using Twitter and Facebook in NHS settings is “unworkable” according to the health management organisation NHS Employers.

It said many trusts had previously imposed blanket bans on staff from accessing social media platforms via their IT networks. But this was now changing because smartphones allowed access to social media whenever and wherever staff wanted.

NHS Employers also noted that social media should be viewed in a positive light and not just as a potential threat to patient confidentiality, for example. It cautioned that not allowing staff to use social media could actually be bad for a trust.

“A policy of ‘no social media use at work’ could affect an individual’s level of engagement with the organisation if it separates them from professional contacts,” the guidelines stated. “Similarly, a policy of open access to social media could increase their feeling of membership of an organisation by allowing them a space in which to ask questions and discuss issues.”

What do you think?

Banning nurses from social media sites ‘unworkable’

 

Readers' comments (23)

  • i thought the new care-makers were spreading the word via social networks?

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  • I have always been too busy on a shift to use social media sites, even if I was registered to one; lucky to get a cup of tea sometimes. I think that it is open to abuse, and shouldn't happen during working hours.

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  • Good idea but it is hard enough for a nurse to access a pc for work never mind anything else. Ask the doctors they are the decission makers

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  • Doesn't Cummings tweet and use other social media at work to communicate with fellow nurses and disseminate her important information? Without this some may never have heard of the six'C's!

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  • Tweet ergo sum!

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  • the way the NHS is going there won't be any staff left to tweet anyway.

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  • I agree with the earlier comment re- nurses being too busy to even grab a cuppa on some shifts - in my humble experience! The thought of having time to tweet/fb during shifts makes me wonder if these individuals shouldn't be spending their time more wisely and productively, i.e. at the patient bedsides.

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  • Is tweeting the new stress-relieving substitute for smoking?

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  • Social media site use should be confined to breaks(if you can get one) or when you are off duty. Many nurses carry their iPhones in their pockets all the time, and use them even when they are supposed to be working. Does not create a good impression at all

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  • even in breaks perhaps it would be better to give your time and a listening ear to colleagues - socialisation, mutual support, etc.

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  • 'Anonymous | 29-Jan-2013 1:19 pm

    Tweet ergo sum!'

    There you go - throwing in dodgy numerical skills as well !

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  • Smokers get breaks to go outside and smoke so why not have social networking breaks?

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  • since I have to work unsocial hours, the whole of my social life depends upon my use of social media at work to organise what little spare time I have. this is highly important and my life would be greatly impoverished and I would no longer be able to function without it. Don't see anything wrong with that.

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  • You don't need a social media site to organise your social life surely? A phone call, text or email would suffice.

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  • Anonymous | 2-Feb-2013 7:53 pm

    well as long as I have Skype and one of them cameras that would be OK so that I can show my friends I am really working hard!!!!!!!!!

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  • I'm sure your friends will know you are working hard if all you have time for is a quick text to make your arrangements to meet up

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  • WHO THE ECK HAS TIME TO GO ON TWITTER ETC DURING WORK HOURS? I DON'T EVEN HAVEN TIME TO COMPLETE MY ONLINE TRAINING!

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  • Titter and facebook are a load of c--p!!

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  • Oops, I meant twitter not titter!

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  • As has been said before I barely get a break or time to get to a computer to update a handover sheet. I often don't even get a chance to look at my own off duty or emails (the way we get informed of policy/practice changes). I had to do my online learning at a hospital library computer in my own time.

    How then do I have time to use social media? And, if I do look at it on my break, especially if I am on my own at the time, am I really hurting anyone?

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