Didn’t you know it’s the latest trend in healthcare?
You can sit in you family members room and make statements about the care your loved one is receiving on that hospital’s Facebook page. You can also mention specific nurses by name and discuss your like or dislike for them. Sure would be nice if there were headshots of each nurse on that Facebook page so you could just put a thumbs up or a thumbs down on the nurses. That would make the public degrading of them so much easier. Sure you can do this, but should you?
With social media, and the ability to communicate so freely and publicly about pretty much anything and everything you want is easy and anyone can do so with little to no consequences. But should people limit themselves in the statements they make on these outlets?
It is one thing to go on Facebook or twitter and voices a complaint about an organization or company, but it’s another to narrow it down to one particular person and degrade them so publicly. When you’re a celebrity or public figure, you can pretty much assume that you may be praised or bashed publicly. But should a nurse, who has no online reputation whatsoever, and no means whatsoever to defend him or herself be subject to the same opportunities for public embarrassment?
There are plenty of websites where you can rate your doctors, hospitals, private practices, and other healthcare providers, so it would only make sense for nurses to come next in this process. But is this appropriate? What will come next? Will patients be given a menu and be allowed to select their nurse from available choices based upon credentials and previous feedback left by other patients? Will we, as nurses, have to walk around knowing someone might tweet about us, blog about us, or write a review of our performance on Facebook?
There is no doubt that as nurses we should be aware of our actions and treat our patients with the best care possible. We should always strive for excellence in our care and to provide excellent customer service. But sometimes things may not go as planned. Sometimes we cannot be in a patient’s room the instant they call. Sometimes we are not everything the patients dream we would be, but for the most part, we do try. We do our best to give the best care we can with the tools and staff we have available.
So should the public know when and where to draw the line between being concerned with their care and humiliating a human being online?