Social networking, a relatively new communication phenomenon, has the ability to provide education, foster advocacy, promote the profession, and influence mental health policy. It also has the potential to violate boundaries, infringe on privacy, create liability, and damage professional credibility. A review of the literature revealed limited research has been conducted concerning the impact and use of social networking sites in nursing practice and other healthcare disciplines.
In Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing, communication is the foundation of the therapeutic alliance. Because social networking communications have the potential to positively and negatively affect this alliance, it is imperative to develop guidelines for prudent and resourceful usage of social networking media that complies with practice acts, promotes professionalism, and maintains work-life balance for the psychiatric mental health nurse. This session will provide an overview of different types of social media outlets, review published position statements from other healthcare disciplines, and consider best practices for Psychiatric/Mental health nursing.