>Check Yo’ Self
The above is a short discussion of what might be good, and not so good, to show case in the various social media elements out there, as determined by the AMA. A lot of it is obvious, IE don’t include patient identifiers, be respectful etc, etc, for example…
Provide insightful and respectful reflection narratives about clinical experiences that maintain patient anonymity.
I admit that sometimes I struggle with the being respectful part, at least in defining that gray line of what becomes disrespectful. In person, yes, its obvious as to what is respectful and what is not, but when you are sitting around with colleagues, at what point does a funny story cross that line? What about here on the internet? The point of this blog is to serve as personal journal of my experiences in this career, but it is open to the public. Funny things happen, some patients or situations are amusing, or even comical, or just so far out there that you can’t help but laugh. Is it wrong to talk about these patients in an open forum?
For example, today the MSIII on our team said during morning rounds “The patient keeps saying he is going to leave AMA, but he’s a paraplegic so I am not too worried about that happening”. Now, the student said this 100% seriously, and meant no disrespect what so ever… but the moment it left his lips, we all realized what he had just said, everyone burst out laughing. It WAS funny at the time (even if the joke doesn’t come across here in text). My question is, in that situation there, I don’t think any lines were crossed per se, we were laughing more at the student (Okay, WITH the student, not AT the student) than at anything having to do with the patient.
But if I relate that story here (which I realize I am clearly doing), away from the team, to the general public, (all zero of you reading this) does it now become disrespectful? Is the patient now the butt of a joke? Even if the patient is in no way identified? What sort of things should or should not be shared?
I don’t know if there is a set answer to that question. I think what’s important is to just be aware of it, to take a moment and think of things from someone else’s perspective. Its hard to know for sure when you have crossed the line, but I think most of us can at least get that feeling for when we are close and might need to back off.