Exercise caution when posting on social media

Publish date: Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Whether intended to be public or private, comments posted on social media can have far reaching consequences that can affect your employment.

Currently, the provincial government is slashing front line health care services and as nurses, we are feeling the brunt of these cuts first hand. From diminishing supplies and resources, to working short staffed in situations where patient safety can be compromised, these cuts are extremely damaging to our health care system.

We are frustrated. We feel helpless. We want the cuts to stop, but we feel that no is listening, so we take to social media to voice our concerns.

On social media, we find like-minded individuals so we speak up; we speak out. We vent. We have finally found a voice. We feel better.

But who’s listening?

Sure, there are other nurses, concerned citizens, a couple of politicians, maybe even a priest. Who else?  The answer is – any and every one. While this includes the aforementioned list, it also includes the employer, government officials, the Colleges, other health care colleagues who might not necessarily share your views, journalists and more.

And, while it can be liberating to use this avenue to be openly critical of the health care cuts, your facility, management decisions or even specific individuals in the health care system it is never a good idea to have these discussions in the public light.

The repercussions can be far-reaching and can result in disciplinary action. In extreme cases, it can lead to termination by the employer or the revoking of your license by the college.

That being said, nurses are the most trusted voice on health care in this province. Manitobans count on us to advocate on their behalf when it comes to health care, and we will continue to do that in a way that is strategic, professional and effective.

We encourage you to share your frustrations, your solutions and your insight with us. Whether it’s a personal conflict with a colleague, workplace issues with management, dealing with difficult patients or their families or speaking out about the cuts to health care, there are many different tools in place to deal with these issues.

For example, if you have a personal conflict with a colleague, it’s best to try to resolve it privately. You can consult your union rep and use the grievance process to deal with workplace issues. Dealing with a difficult patient? Talk to a colleague or supervisor about difficult patients or their families. Is patient care being compromised due to the health care cuts? Tell us.

We can work with you on devising the best way to voice your concerns to the most appropriate audience. Are you concerned about a rumour going around about layoffs? Call us. We are here to help and can help verify or refute the rumour. The bottom line is that social media should never be your first course of action. In fact, as a rule, when in doubt your first course of action should alw ays be a call to the MNU provincial office.


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