Sorry if this has been covered at length, I did a search and it seemed the posts were more related to med-surg and as we all know, unlike med-surg we may spend months and months with the same family as they process the crisis that the NICU represents to them. At 2 am it is easy to chat about their work, your kids, plans for vacations etc. It helps establish the relationship and passes the time. Can the families and nurses understand the line between that and "real" friendship? What I am wondering about is... when these families friend-request you on facebook.... how is that handled? In my unit there are nurses who have families of CURRENT patients as friends, many many more who have families as friends after discharge. Some visit the babies in their homes or even baby sit and post pictures of them as they grow. And we have all probably seen the "went home to hug my own kids" post by our peers.... and it usually means something went bad at work. I wonder about the effects of these kinds of posts on the families. And at what point is there risk of HIPPA violations?
So... I have a few of questions....
1- Does your hospital have a policy on friending patients / former patients on facebook?
2- Do you personally friend?.... is it usually before or after d/c?.... why or why not?
3- Can you think of any alternative ways for nurses and families to keep up with one another without friending them? (like does your NICU have a family facebook page? -- or some other online resource for maintaining contact?)
Thanks for any feedback.... I LOVE facebook and some of my peers think I'm crazy for (almost never) adding patient's families! ~~ spacey