Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Nurse Follies: The Facebook Incident

I know my postings have been sparse. I blame facebook. It's worse than Twitter, of which I never post anything on. I can go, post a brief blurb of my daily life, and look at the pictures someone posted of their dog or their vacation. Or their dog on vacation.

Everyone loves facebook, including people I work with. A few pranks, however, and some staff have found themselves filing for unemployment. Because of such things, I have been careful to edit what I say because no one is anonymous on facebook. Your name is on there for starters. Some pictures. Some people even post their employer AND contact information...which is why harmless pranks can get you in trouble because employers get embarrassed. You can't embarrass The Man and not expect retribution.

So much for free speech.

After a particularly harrowing shift, and a crazy patient who would randomly shout out obscenities, I went home, the sound of said obscenities echoing in my head. Some days, I go home and hear IV alarms long into the morning. Or call lights. Or that patient who underwent a colonoscopy and has been farting all night long. On a whim, and my own personal computer, I left a status update that was the favorite quote of the night from my obscenity-shouting patient, and only the quote. No patient identifiers. Posted off the clock. From my own home computer. My facebook page makes NO mention of ACME Hospital. Safe as houses, right?

Eh...apparently not.

Bosshole charges in one night, some weeks later, prompted by a call from his pet charge nurse who apparently unloaded every incident that happened that night. How one night nurse was mean and yelled at her. How I had casually perused the job postings board while waiting for that same charge nurse to give me report. To state the obvious, no one particularly likes this charge nurse, who will throw you under the bus at the drop of a hat.

After the "mean" nurse is summoned into the Bosshole's lair to account for her meanness, I am summoned. Bosshole, calmer after hearing the story of what happened and feeling better about life on the unit, roots around his desk and pulls out a sheet of paper. It is a screenshot of my facebook page, the patient quote highlighted in orange, and he stares at me expectantly, waiting for my explanation.

So I point out that it was posted on my own time, my own computer, and doesn't violate any confidentiality laws and my page in no way ties me to my employer. Got anything else? No, but Bosshole cautions that ACME Hospital watches out for stuff like this, and they would prefer if we just didn't mention anything about work. At all.

He then goes on to grill me about my looking for another floor to transfer to, which really wasn't a big secret, but I am annoyed that I wasn't the one to tell him personally. (But to his credit, we had a very nice discussion about my happiness on the floor and my future there.)I'm just annoyed that it had to come from someone who apparently has nothing better to do than to look for ways to get people in trouble in an effort to make herself look better. The same person who directed him to my facebook page. I know this because Bosshole indirectly told me who it was (I have days of extreme smartness).

That person now has a sparkling nickname, given to her by a couple colleagues (I can't take credit), that is in no way appropriate for me to say on this blog. But the C-word may be involved. You know....that word.

As a result, I made some changes to my facebook. I removed a huge chunk of my coworkers from the list, save for a few. After hearing what happened, others followed in my footsteps and did the same thing. Some of my removed friends were alarmed, but upon hearing the story, understood, and not-at-all shocked as they are very familiar of the antics of She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Nicknamed.

Another change was my occupation. You see, I'm not a nurse anymore...on that medium, anyway. Instead, I adopted an occupation that has no ties to the medical field. So, if you happen to be my friend, and see posts relating to agriculture, now you know.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some goats to milk.


Moose said...

A friend of mine was just punted [with the ability to appeal, in 6 months] from nursing school, in her final year, because of an update complaining about how she didn't like a certain type of patient [ie. "I hate doing the cardiac work" type of thing].

Her facebook, twitter, etc. are all locked tight. Yet somehow someone at the school got their hands on it.

There's an old, old saying among computer geeks: If you don't want it to get around, don't put it on the internet. Anywhere.

Related is Rule One: People Are Morons.

(Rule Two is: You can sell them anything.)

Rachel said...

I was called to the carpet for a photo, after putting my camera to my face and saying "This will go on facebook. If you want to object, do so now." Nobody said a word, but the next day? Oh yeah. F 'em.

PlazaJen said...

Man, that's bullshit. I hope twinkletwat's karma bus is headed her way now with a ticket to riiide.

I hope you'll be attending today's city council meeting on urban farming, what with the new career. ;)

Candice said...

This is basically why I don't blog about nursing related topics anymore. I have never gotten in trouble for it when I worked at my other job, but I also hated that job and secretely didn't give a shit if I got canned or not. Now i do. :)

On a similar note on how facebook can get stupid people fired, there were a couple people at my last job that lost their jobs because they posted real xrays of patients on their fb page. One was a PA and the other was a rad tech.

Brilliant right?

Bill the Painter said...

Yep, people ARE stupid sometimes! In this case, I am the bosshole!

One of my guys was obviously unhappy. His facebook page was public and I could see all of the nice names he had for me. He also stated that he was quitting and wouldn't show up the next day. I was actually pretty happy about it!

I printed that page in case he ever tries to collect unemployment off of my company.

me said...

I bet you rock the overalls thing...

Makes me glad I'm not working right now...

RDMwordpress said...


Wow. I think I hate the internets.