Nurses on social media could make crucial care mistakes

by | Feb 21, 2022 | medical malpractice

Sometimes, medical malpractice is dramatic and catastrophic. It might involve a surgeon leaving a tool behind in someone after an operation or performing the wrong procedure.

Other times, behaviors that constitute medical malpractice are smaller and far less dramatic. They might be a natural consequence of something that happens hundreds of times a day, like checking a phone.

For example, a nurse addicted to social media might let their phone distract them from patient care. They might provide someone with the wrong medication, incorrectly note information from a test they just performed or even delay responding to an emergency call light, any of which could prove catastrophic for their patients.

 Nurses are as vulnerable to social media addiction as anyone

Social media provides nearly instantaneous feedback for pictures, jokes and complaints about daily life. Many people depend on the constant ping of notifications and quips in the comments from their friends to feel connected to the world around them. It can be hard for someone to stop for hours just because they are at work.

However, the daily job responsibilities that feel like a grind for a nurse can be life or death matters for their patients. Nurses distracting themselves with phones can lead to bad outcomes for patients. A survey involving 461 nurses in 52 countries found a frightening correlation between nurses’ use of social media and the standard of care their patients receive.

The mistakes that a nurse makes could affect how well a treatment works or whether a patient recovers from an adverse medical event that occurs in a facility. Identifying distracted nursing as a potential source of medical malpractice can help you hold someone accountable for their professional misconduct related to cell phone addiction.