Several labor and delivery nurses were recently fired from a Georgia hospital after a TikTok video they posted criticizing patients went viral. This incident is just one example that demonstrates how critical it is for licensed medical professionals to watch what they post on social media because those posts could have far-reaching consequences for their careers.
Labor and Delivery “Icks”
The four nurses put together the video – which was viewed more than 100,000 times before it was taken down – a part of a TikTok trend of users sharing their “icks” with viewers. In the video, the nurses each shared their complaints about the things labor and delivery patients do that they find the most annoying. Some of the complaints included:
Patients who say they are in a high level of pain but do not want any pain medication or an epidural.
Patients who ask if they can shower or eat.
Patients who ask how much their baby weighs when they are still holding the infant following delivery.
Partners of patients who come out of the patient’s room and ask for a paternity test.
Reaction to the video was overwhelmingly critical, with viewers criticizing the nurses for their “unprofessional” and “uncompassionate” behavior. It also led to all four nurses being fired from the Georgia hospital they worked at.
Ramifications of Social Media Posts
There is no doubt that social media has become a significant part of daily life for millions of people. In fact, it is estimated that more than 300 million Americans are active on social media sites. Although your social media accounts may be personal, what you post can have a negative impact on your professional standing and license, just like any actions or behaviors you engage in your personal life.
Although there have not been any recent reports about whether the state of Georgia’s nursing board is taking action against the nurses for the viral video, any professional medical licensing board can move to suspend or even revoke a professional’s license if they find they have violated rules or regulations set forth by the board.
One of the most serious social media violations that a medical professional can face is failing to adhere to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) by posting information that violates a patient’s privacy. You should never post any information about a patient on social media, including anything about their medical issues. Even if you do not identify the patient by name, you could still face serious consequences.
Medical professionals should also never post anything disparaging about their co-workers, bosses, or their employer. And never post on your social media sites during work hours or from employer-owned electronics.
Contact a Cook County Professional License Defense Lawyer
If you have been accused of violating HIPAA or any other infractions because of your social media use and are facing disciplinary action, call a Chicago medical license defense attorney to find out what legal options you may have in defending your professional reputation. Call Williams & Nickl, LLC at 312-335-9470 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.