Click here to view the original version of this article here as posted live on The Gypsy Nurse website on August 24th, 2022 as part of our partnership with The Gypsy Nurse.
It’s difficult to imagine a time before social media. From staying connected with friends and relatives, meeting new people, or even finding new travel nursing assignments, social media connects everyone like never before. However, it’s essential to bear in mind that this ever-increasing level of connection and transparency is best enjoyed safely, responsibly, and with some of the same social finesse you’d practice in traditional “offline” social situations. Some of these tips may seem intuitive, but even the most composed social butterflies can benefit from these friendly reminders! Below are some dos and don’ts of using social media as a travel nurse.
HIPPA violations are not taken lightly and can be pretty serious offenses. A violation occurs when there is a failure to comply with an aspect of the HIPPA standards and provisions where acquisition or disclosure of Protected Health Information (PHI) is made in such a manner that a patient is put at risk. It is always best never to share any patient information, photo, or otherwise confidential information, both on and off social media. Patients have a right to privacy, and unknowingly posting or disclosing information that may seem harmless could be considered a violation.
We’ve all had bad days in the workplace; however, before posting who/what/where are the sources of your frustration, ask yourself how it could affect you down the road. Hitting “send” when you’re tired or angry may unintentionally burn a bridge with potential employers.
Nurse burnout is real, as is social media burnout! Today, we are accustomed to posting every aspect of our lives, especially when living your best life on a travel assignment! Remind yourself it’s ok to take a break. Don’t feel obligated to post and engage regularly. You’ll be surprised how refreshing it is to take a step back from all social media channels.
Social media should not be taken at face value and isn’t meant to be taken personally. Before sharing or engaging with something, you read, first consider the source. You may have the best intentions by sharing information you think is relevant or informative, but it’s best to think twice before you share.
Social media is a great place to meet other traveling nurses. Join Facebook groups, follow travel nurse influencers, and feel free to chime in with any questions or advice you may have from your travels. Social media is a great way to connect with other healthcare travelers and keep up with the latest industry information.
Instagram and TikTok allow you to follow specific hashtags for travel nurses so you can see relevant content in your feed! It’s a great way to find new relevant content and accounts that you may love. If you’re trying to grow your followers, use your hashtags wisely. The general rule of thumb for all social platforms is using 3-5 hashtags per post, but some platforms recommend using up to 11 for the best chance at increasing your following.
If you’ve been on social media long enough, your old photos and posts may make you cringe. Take some time to go through your old posts and delete content that no longer reflects your current thoughts, can be interpreted poorly, or gives you secondhand embarrassment of your younger, less mature self.
It is often difficult to interpret tone in writing. There are instances where statements may be misinterpreted, especially when humor is involved. Comments may come off as thoughtless, disrespectful, and even offensive.
If you are concerned about who has access to see your posts and information, check your privacy settings on all of your social media channels. Many offer privacy settings that are adjustable to your desired level of comfort. A good general rule of thumb is only post details you would feel comfortable sharing with the public or a future employer – regardless of which privacy settings are turned on.
If you love the content someone is producing or find something valuable – don’t be afraid to speak up and let them know! Whether it be a fellow travel nurse, influencer, nursing agency, or brand – they love to receive feedback from followers like you. Remember that your comments on their pages are also public, and you may never know who else will end up seeing them.
Authenticity can be incredibly helpful in helping people feel connected, especially for those who live their lives on the road. That photo you want to post doesn’t necessarily need flawless lighting or filters to be picture-perfect. When in doubt as to how you come across in a post or a caption, read it aloud and ask yourself if you would communicate the same way in person. If your answer is yes, post away!
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