Last weekend some young Sydney nurses found themselves at the centre of a ‘selfie’ scandal, perhaps even facing dismissal. In case you hadn’t noticed, the ‘selfie’ has become a social media phenomenon – since smartphones became ubiquitous a few years ago, young people (and some older, eg. K Rudd) have been posting posed pictures of themselves – taken by holding the phone at arm’s length – to sites like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
The ‘selfie’ has become something of a running joke – each selfie-taker adds their own punchline.
But the explosion of social media now also makes it all too easy for your ‘joke’ to go viral and end up in front of the wrong audience.
A straightforward nurse ‘selfie’. [from Eat to the Beet]
When the Daily Telegraph uses words like ‘saucy’ and ‘cheeky’, as they did with this story, we have to suspect that they are trying to whip up a controversy where perhaps none exists.
Obviously patient privacy should never be compromised and nurses and midwives need to be conscious that they are accountable for what they do in work time and in work uniform.
But nurses are far from the only workers to be taking selfies - under the hashtag #work selfie, Instagram brings up thousands of photos of people in all sorts of occupations – pilots, chefs, salespeople… Doubtless there’s even a doctor or two amongst them.
Another type of health-related selfie! [from Idiosyncratic Fashionistas]
What do you think? Are selfies just a way of getting some lighthearted relief from a stressful job – or are they a negative distraction, even potentially dangerous?
Previously on Nurse Uncut: Nurses should embrace social media- carefully
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s information sheet on social media can be found here.
The Australian College of Nursing’s social media guidelines are here.
If you work for the NSW Department of Health, this is their Code of Conduct.