I follow many nurses on Facebook and am appalled by their lack of ethical social media stewardship. One nurse in particular with 16,000 followers uses Facebook as a forum to discuss health issues and natural remedies. She posts biased, unsupported propaganda and does not moderate comments that are misleading or suggest unsafe treatments.
I would like to believe that all nurses practice within their professional scope, have advanced critical thinking skills, and convey medical information in an ethical manner. As more nurses become active with social media I am seeing how many of them do not meet these criteria. I have been nursing’s biggest cheerleader and I’m profoundly disappointed in what I am witnessing on the internet.
Registered nurses must be sensitive to the power they have with regard to influencing health decisions. We are all potential wellness guides for our friends, families, patients, and now millions of internet users who have access to our public on-line commentary. I am overwhelmed with the negligence shown by my cohorts and wish I could apologize on their behalf. But I can only continue to be transparent on social media and continue to provide sound information based on empirical data.
If you are a nurse, I ask you to be cognizant of your responsibility as a medical professional and if you are a health consumer, I encourage you to be prudent with whom you trust on the internet.
The nurse who runs this Facebook page is irresponsible for not moderating these comments. Do you know how much broccoli you have to eat to lower blood pressure? And low salt is rarely a problem because salt actually causes hypertension and atherosclerosis. I could go on and on for days and so could the nurse who hosts this page. It is probably the very reason she chooses to ignore the comments.
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