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Home > Topics > Social Media for EMS
December 26, 2013
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EMS News in Focus
by Arthur Hsieh

Facebooking your life has drawbacks

Social media missteps can hinder your career

By Arthur Hsieh

Lesson for today: If you live out your life in social media, learn to keep your virtual mouth shut.

A medic who was suspended after posting "inappropriate and unprofessional" information on Facebook reminds us of a pretty simple rule to use common sense when posting on social media. But it seems to elude many of us on a daily basis.

There are plenty of websites that repost message threads that just makes you wonder what the heck was going through people’s heads when they spent the 10 seconds typing it out.

Actually, the answer is pretty simple — there wasn’t anything going through their minds at the moment. 

When it comes to EMS issues, remember to keep a few rules in mind:

  • Patient privacy is paramount. If there is any way someone can be identified via the post or picture, that’ll be a big problem. And the argument surrounding taking pictures in public areas isn’t bulletproof, especially if you are doing it on duty.
  • As one of our readers pointed out, think once, twice, three times before posting something about work. There are some statements that are protected; so long as you are focused on workplace terms and conditions that are shared by others in the labor force. Beating up your supervisor for being a jerk, while emotionally satisfying, probably doesn’t fall under that category.
  • Technically, your personal life is just that — personal. But it’s hard for a current or future employer to not pay attention to photos and postings about your last bachelor party or your political views. There are no laws in place that govern this, other than the ones of common sense. Which, at times, seems to be in short supply.

About the author

EMS1 Editor in Chief Art Hsieh, MA, NREMT-P currently teaches at the Public Safety Training Center, Santa Rosa Junior College in the Emergency Care Program. In the profession since 1982, Art has worked as a line medic and chief officer in the private, third service and fire-based EMS. He has directed both primary and EMS continuing education programs. Art is a published textbook author, has presented at conferences nationwide, and continues to provide patient care at a rural hospital-based ALS system. Contact Art at Art.Hsieh@ems1.com.
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Alizah Beechwood Alizah Beechwood Monday, January 20, 2014 10:06:04 AM facebook is the downfall of our society

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