Should you mix business with your personal facebook page?

Are you a healthcare professional?  Do you have a facebook account or do you utilize other social networking sites?  If you use social networking for your medical practice, then you need to make certain that your page maintains an atmosphere of professionalism.  If you have a personal facebook page or some other social networking site that you regularly utilize, should you still maintain an atmosphere of professionalism or is there a fine line between that standard and whatever goes on your own page?

Of course, there is freedom of speech and it is an awesome privilege that we enjoy in this county.  However, should a healthcare provider be fired if he or she posts negative comments about a patient on facebook?

This actually happened in Michigan at Oakwood Hospital.  An employee, Cheryl James, posted negative comments about a patient, a cop killer, on facebook.  Apparently, her boss found out about the comments and stated there would be an investigation, so James removed the posting.  However, instead of writing her up and suspending her, she got fired by the hospital.

Freedom of speech is an awesome freedom, but when you are a professional, especially working in the healthcare field, you need to make sure that your facebook page and other social networking profiles stay personally based only and not delving into your professional world; because there is a fine line to walk and your job can hang in the balance.  You can read more about this issue in the article by Ronnie Dahl Oakwood Hospital Employee Fired for Facebook Posting

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