There has been a lot of talk recently among the nursing blogs about a very unfortunate scenario involving an eager nursing student and social media.
Those Emergency Blues Wrote about How to Get Yourself Arbitrarily kicked out of Nursing School.
And Not Nurse Ratched talked about How A Nursing Student can be Expelled for a Facebook photo.
The article in the Kansas City Star Discusses How Ms. Doyle Byrnes found herself expelled after posting images of herself and a placenta on Facebook.
It really is an unfortunate circumstance and chain of events that has led to an obviously passionate future nurse. What’s even worse is the fact that our nursing schools are obviously not delivering the right message to our students. As medical professionals we should all be familiar with the report published by the Institute of Medicine that reinforces the fact that to put it quite simply, To Err is Human. And while, many of us are incredibly confused by what is so appalling and deemed unfit unprofessional about an unidentifiable of medical waste, it is understandable what offense it might cause in some, and what objection an nursing school might find to this image. However, I do not feel the appropriate action is EXPEL the student for posting, and then promptly removing the image, especially after she and other students ask for permission to do so.
In a strongly worded letter to the student, just a few months prior to graduation, the director of the Johnson County Community College School of Nursing, Jeanne Walsh, states: “Your demeanor and lack of professional behavior surrounding this event was considered a disruption to the learning environment and did not exemplify the professional behavior that we expect in the nursing program.” And if this is the letter that the student received, I can only imagine what the faculty member, who gave the students permission to post the photos, received… actually no I can’t, because from what I have read, even though her influence and responses to students, or lack their of, are the clear and definite reason for this whole nursing school facebook photo fiasco to begin with.
This is crap. Pure and utter crap. Passionate and excited nurses are what we need in order to ensure we can deliver prompt and innovative healthcare. This photograph does nothing to disrupt learning. I would argue that it inspires learning. I mean, seriously not everyone is going to get giddy over medical wastes, but nursing students, and nurses alike, do, well at least the ones who are still passionate and excited about their careers. The ones that don’t get excited about healthcare are the ones who need to step away from the bedside and go administrate something somewhere… I guess that’s what Mrs. Walsh choose to do when she lost her compassion and gained an inability to care for what is obviously an eager nurse with a bright future.
My heart is broken by what Those Emergency Blues points out as being another example of nurses eating their young. Opportunities like this should be used as ways to writes policies and develop protocols to follow regarding healthcare and the growing involvement we are all having with social media, from nurses to doctors, to grandmas, and great aunts. Everyone is connected.
Is the problem really that she posted it on facebook or took the photo to begin with? I myself have battled the urge to photograph various things in the workplace, all of which would be completely unidentifiable in relationship to a patient, but something always makes me question: could this get me in trouble? Should I have to question this so heavily? I mean really, what harm was done in what she did, and how is it unprofessional to show a professional (or in this case, future professional) doing their job and participating in learning? In fact, I would argue that this image should be used as promotional material to recruit nurses into healthcare. Ms. Byrnes is obviously excited about that placenta, and you will be too when you’re a nurse!
Mrs. Byrnes, I am sorry for this injustice that I feel has been unfairly brought upon you and your classmates. I do hope that the right thing is done here and that you are allowed to complete your program, pass boards on the first try, and successfully land your dream job with your future husband. I hope that whomever has an opportunity to be in you company as a nurse sees your passion and desire to be a healthcare provider above all else and that you have a successful and fulfilling nursing career.
Don’t let the bullies win.
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
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