Nurses & Midwives Could Pay The Price On Facebook

Social networking sites Facebook and Twitter are growing in popularity and are used by a huge number of individuals. Whereas before, both were used just for messaging friends and loved ones, now photos can be uploaded, shared and tagged, details of events can be forwarded onto you, brands can be followed and so on.

But have we ever really stopped to think about the impact that both of these rival sites have on our lives? Is it a fair comment that some of you need your Facebook/Twitter fix on a daily basis and there will no doubt be a number of you that have suffered their fate due to privacy issues. This brings us nicely onto today’s news from telgraph.co.uk.

It seems that Nurses and Midwives have come under fire due to the way in which they post information on such sites. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) have left a stark warning for individuals within this sector, that under no circumstances can photos or information in relation to their jobs be listed on the sites. Advice is to keep home and work life separate from one another.

In the past as reported, some individuals with the NMC registration have lost their jobs for this very reason. Complaints have been made relating to online misconduct. In a statement from Chief Executive of the NMC Prof Dickon Weir-Hughes it was said, “The NMC is committed to public protection and ensuring nurses and midwives make the welfare of those in their care their first priority at all times. I would advise nurses and midwives to exercise caution when using social networking sites. They could risk their registration if they share sensitive information, make inappropriate comments, or befriend patients online.”

Both Facebook and Twitter are popular with NHS staff and for the latter, its a way for individuals to talk about recent health reforms and up to date news. This brings us onto the subject of the new Google+ network service. Just released, the new app is set to be a major challenger to that of Facebook. Equalling Facebook’s status updates and setting up of profiles including the use of photos, Google+ will enable you to make “circles” which will mean that you can organise your friends list into certain categories. This could be work colleagues, drinking buddies, family members and so on, people within those circles will just see updates or photos amicable to that group.

Additional features to this will include, “Hangouts” which will enable six webcams to link together at the same time as well as a new feature “Sparks,” if there’s a topic of discussion that interests you and your pals, then the new Google+ will deliver content to your screen.

The NMC have stated that all nurses and midwives should never accept a friend request on either site that is or has been a patient.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think your social media sites such as Facebook should be kept completely separate from your business life? Will the introduction of Google+ and its ability to separate all contacts alleviate these issues?