Nurse receives heavy criticism for discussing patients case on Facebook

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Image Courtesy of Dr Graff

A Nurse, in a final act of desperation, reached out to fellow healthcare professionals online in a bid to assist in the healing of a chronic wound.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) offer nurses extensive guidance on their conduct online but it seems this case has delivered somewhat of an ethical dilemma for many.

The Nurse involved claimed to have exhausted all other available options including tissue viability and a multitude of second opinions and only turned to a Facebook group for Nurses as a last resort.

The patient, who remains unidentified, was struggling with a leg wound that despite a multitude of treatments had failed to heal. Her Nurse reached out to colleagues online for help but was met with a mixture of comments with some saying she was “thinking outside the box” and others calling it “inappropriate”, a “breach of confidentiality” and “unprofessional”.

According to the Nurse involved the patient provided full, informed, consent for the discussion and the post contained no identifiable information simply an image of the wound, a short description of the issue and a call for help.

The post was later deleted by the community moderators.

Apps like Figure1 (iOS / Android) can provide a forum for healthcare professionals to seek help from the wider community.

What do you think? Was the nurse thinking “outside of the box”, providing holistic care and simply utilising the resources available to her or did she overstep her boundaries as a healthcare professional?