Ethical Discussion Forums NSG 100 Please choose of the following for your initial posting.  Please remember to choose the ethical provision you believe would address the issue and :  The student nurse is completing the preceptorship at the local hospital and cares for a young adult patient for the three nights she and her preceptor are on duty.  On the last night for the week, while she is talking to the patient about a planned discharge, the patient asks the student to be friends on face book.  What should the student nurse do? :  A group of senior students have been attending nursing school together since the beginning and are friends with one another on social media.  After a particularly tough day at clinical, one of the students begins to rant about the instructor, the clinical site, and the dreadful patient assignment the student had.  The student even names the nurse assigned to the patient and the name of the hospital.  What should the fellow students do who are classmates and on this social media site with this student?

The scenario presented involves two different ethical dilemmas that student nurses may encounter during their education and training. In the first scenario, a student nurse is asked by a patient to become friends on Facebook, while in the second scenario, classmates on a social media site witness another student ranting about their clinical experiences. This essay will address each scenario individually, analyzing the potential ethical issues and providing recommendations on how to handle the situations.

In the first scenario, the student nurse is caring for a young adult patient during her preceptorship at the local hospital. During a conversation about the patient’s planned discharge, the patient asks the student nurse to be friends on Facebook. This situation raises concerns related to professional boundaries and patient privacy. The American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethics for Nurses holds that nurses have a duty to maintain professional boundaries with their patients (ANA, 2015). Becoming friends on social media platforms blurs the professional boundary, as it can lead to the disclosure of personal information or compromise the confidentiality of the patient’s medical information.

In response to this situation, the student nurse should kindly decline the patient’s request to be friends on Facebook. The student can explain that it is a professional guideline to maintain boundaries between healthcare providers and patients for ethical and privacy reasons. It is important for the student to prioritize the patient’s well-being and maintain their professional integrity. Additionally, the student nurse can offer alternative ways of keeping in touch, such as providing contact information for the hospital or clinic’s patient liaison office, where the patient can direct any future questions or concerns.

In the second scenario, a group of senior nursing students who have been attending nursing school together are friends on social media. Following a challenging day at clinical, one student begins to rant about their instructor, the clinical site, and the patient assignment they had. The student even discloses the name of the nurse assigned to the patient and the hospital. This situation raises concerns related to professionalism, confidentiality, and online behavior.

The classmates who come across this post on social media should act responsibly and ethically by engaging in an appropriate course of action. Firstly, they should not participate or contribute to the rant. By refraining from engaging in negative discussions or endorsing harmful behavior, they avoid perpetuating the negative atmosphere and uphold the ethical principles of respect and integrity.

Secondly, the classmates should consider discussing the situation privately or offline with the student who made the post. They should express their concerns about the potential consequences of the post, such as harming the student’s professional reputation, violating patient confidentiality, or damaging the reputation of the clinical site and the nurse mentioned. This conversation should be conducted in a supportive and non-confrontational manner, focusing on the potential implications of the post rather than accusing or blaming the student.

In addition, the classmates can also inform their instructor or a trusted faculty member about the situation. This action is important to ensure that appropriate guidance and education regarding professional behavior and social media use are provided to the students. The instructor or faculty member can address the issue during a classroom session or through written communication, reminding the students about the importance of maintaining professionalism in their online presence and discussing the potential consequences of breaching patient privacy or engaging in negative behavior online.

In conclusion, both scenarios presented involve ethical dilemmas for student nurses. The first scenario highlights the importance of maintaining professional boundaries and patient privacy. The student nurse should decline the patient’s request to become friends on social media and offer alternative means of communication. The second scenario emphasizes the significance of professionalism, confidentiality, and responsible online behavior. Classmates who witness a student’s negative and potentially harmful social media post should refrain from engaging in the discussion, privately discuss their concerns with the student, and report the situation to a faculty member if necessary. By navigating these situations ethically, student nurses can uphold their professional commitments and promote patient-centered care.