The Use of Social Media in Nursing and Midwifery -Fact sheet

Seychelles Nurses and Midwives Council

The Use of Social Media in Nursing and Midwifery -Fact sheet

During the last Council meeting it was voiced out that nurses and midwives are expressing professional concerns over social media. The Council is taking this accusation seriously as this can be destructive to the profession especially when non-nurses are involved.

As part of the SNMC’s mandate to monitor standard of practice and education it has been found necessary to release this position statement relating to exchange of information in the profession, so as to remind nurses and midwives of their professional responsibilities. As registered nurses and midwives our professional code of practice and conduct as well as the rules and regulation which govern our practice bind us to the profession.

The code contains different statements which when put together signifies good nursing and midwifery practice. Nurses and midwives are reminded that we are therefore accountable to any breach of professional conduct and ethics.  With the increase in the use of social media, due consideration should also be taken in the light of our responsibility so as to avoid putting our registration and license at risk. It is also important to realize that there is limitation to privacy once connected online.

Please find the attached position statement released by the Seychelles Nurses and Midwives Council which is aimed to raise awareness on possible risks of online communication using the different social media.

 

Position of The Seychelles Nurses & Midwives Council

Communication in Nursing - The Social Media

Communication is a fundamental element in the provision of care as the nurse/midwife has to exchange information with colleagues, patients and the multidisciplinary team. However, nurses and midwives have a professional responsibility which binds them ethically and legally, wherever they function.  Since the different modes of communication have evolved over the years, nurses have to be aware of possible risks, if they act unlawfully or unethically.

 Electronic devices when used effectively to exchange information, whether spoken, written or digitally can be beneficial in care provision at all levels, but on the other hand inappropriate usage can have negative impact on the caregiver, the patient, relatives and the profession. It is reminded that our responsibility as professionals have not changed whether we are communicating physically or by electronic means as the same rules and regulation will apply.

Nevertheless, intimidating others, sharing of confidential information and pictures, on social media are not the acceptable standards of communication in nursing and midwifery. It is reminded that, The Nurses and Midwives Regulation, Part IV, Rules of Conduct, Section 13(b) states that, it shall be the duty of every nurse to uphold and enhance the good reputation of the profession.  It is important, therefore, that individual nurses and midwives acquaint themselves with the current channel of communication to settle their dismays and grievances. This applies whether you are employed in private or government services, as our accountability as a registered nurse or midwife does not change.

The Council encourages nurses/ midwives to review their codes of ethics, conduct and the rules governing the practice of nursing and midwifery and seek further guidance as and when necessary. The Council will have to investigate cases of allegation where there is evidence of any breach of professional code of practice and conduct.

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