Technology is one of the notable pillars helping many nations all over the world achieve great growth and development over the recent decades. The contemporary society has also been regarded as the digital generation owing to the technological developments that have swiftly been taking place.

Technology is one of the notable pillars helping many nations all over the world achieve great growth and development over the recent decades. The contemporary society has also been regarded as the digital generation owing to the technological developments that have swiftly been taking place. The information sector is one of the many beneficiaries of these developments. Through social media platforms such as Instagram Twitter Whatsapp You tube and Facebook people create virtual communities and networks. Eventually people can share ideas videos and pictures among other essential information without necessarily having a physical meet up. Like many other careers the nursing profession requires building up of a good and cordial relationship between healthcare service providers and recipients. Information sharing is pertinent towards achieving best practice in the healthcare. The social media platform has been widely used in the implementation of this objective and its continued use in healthcare sector among the nurses has offered many contributions towards achieving greater success. However there are downfalls culminating from the massive use of the social media in the health sector cannot be ignored. It is on this basis that the following discussion aims at unraveling the advantages and disadvantages of using this medium in healthcare. Please insert 3-4 intext references in the introduction
Firstly the social media creates a platform for new friends meet ups and reconnection with long time friends and acquaintances at the local national and international level (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia 2010 p. 1). Although there might be only a limited number of the known social networks there are many others being developed on a daily basis and they keep on popping up in most of the websites. Such media helps people in creating new beneficial friends and also establishing business relations. These new link ups may help a newly Registered Nurse in finding a new job since they help them to meet up with potential employers and also other professional contemporaries (Leiker 2011 p. 237). The virtual communities created through these social networks are comparable of other physical meet up groups such as in the church and other social gatherings where people can meet and share information and new updates. (need reference)
Secondly social media creates an excellent space where healthcare professionals such as Registered Nurses can find useful articles especially on matters regarding healthcare. For instance the information may be about issues pertaining to new methods used in dealing with a particular ailment (McLean Richards & Wardman 2007 p.174). Blogging is one of the earliest forms of social media and has widely been used in updating a particular group of professionals about emerging trends in that particular career. They are known to reach an expansive number of audiences and especially if the content is well integrated to cover a particular area of interest such as the nursing profession (Ferguson 2013 p. 745). Unlike in the case of hardcopy materials softcopy content published or posted in the social media such as blogging may last for a relatively longer period. Also if the content garners much interest it may be easily and widely spread via the social media. In this digital era such information has been referred to as going viral. Access of such information is relatively easer through retrieval. By using a combination of other social networks such as facebook and twitter Registered Nurses can help their friends in retrieving such information by only sharing the link to the content via the afore-mentioned mediums (Casella & Usher 2014 p. 123).
Thirdly it is important understanding that it is uncommon to find some challenges in the work place. Registered Nurses are not in exclusion to encountering challenges and hardships while attending to their duties on a daily basis (Leiker 2011 p. 237). Every person needs moral support at one point or the other and especially when he or she is undergoing a tough moment in life. Besides their assigned duties of providing care Registered Nurses have a personal life to take care of and it through shared experiences that life becomes bearable. Social networks are a good space where Registered Nurses can share their challenges with friends and relatives. By so doing they may in turn get moral and material support (Usher 2012 p. 32).
Fourthly a substantial number of social medial platforms incorporate the feature of instant messaging. It follows that the people using the social networks can chat/message their friends in real-time (Australian Nursing and Midwifery 2015 p. 1). The feature may also provide the Registered Nurses with an opportunity to update their clients with emergent information regarding medication. The feature is can be observed as being an equivalent of making a phone call. International calls are relatively expensive and hence real-time messaging as an alternative helps save such costs and especially when the conversation is between nurses located in different countries. Even at the national level making long calls may be relatively expensive (Toure 2014 p. 3). By only subscribing to the internet people can share information at relatively cheaper prices. For instance a nurse may want to consult his or her friend regarding a particular procedure. Messaging through the social network may be relatively cheaper than using the cell phones. (need reference)
Finally the social media space provides Registered Nurses with a platform where they can do free advertising. Registered Nurse may opt to venture into private businesses rather than getting employed in the public sector. Eventually they may want to market the services and products that they are providing (Basevi Reid & Godbold 2014 p. 68). Marketing consumes a considerable amount of money using the traditional methods. However through the emergence of the social networks advertising can be done using the viral marketing. It involves the aspect of having a group of workers and consumers who market a product or service by passing information from one person to another (Basevi Reid & Godbold 2014 p. 68). Such information can be posted in the social media platforms for free. Eventually these nurses can save huge amounts of cash that could otherwise be used to advertise using other marketing strategies.
However despite all these rewarding and beneficial provisions by the social media there are as substantial shortcomings that registered should wary about regarding the medium. To start with some of the information found in the social networks is incredible. Some of the users of these networks only consult their cognitive information through brainstorming (Mansfield et al. 2011 p. 642). However they ignore the aspect of doing more research to establish findings by other scholars and researchers about a particular issue. If a social platform such as a blog site is poorly monitored then it is relatively easier to post such information and go unnoticed (Mansfield et al. 2011 p. 642). Eventually visitors to the site may use the information which may be misleading and perilous especially in the case of healthcare.
Some of the registered and without observing their professional and ethical job requirements may post perturbing images and tormenting information in the social networks. The primary responsibility of a registered nurse is to observe best practices and provide high-quality care to the patients (Peluchette et al. 2011 p. 4). With the increasing levels of technological developments people can now access social networks via their cell phones without necessarily using a computer or visiting a cyber caf. A considerable number of people and especially the elite which include the registered nurses own a smart phone. Smart phones are a new class of cell phones that houses a substantial number of features such as touch screens in built cameras and other modern level applications. Using such phones and because and for varied reasons some of the nurses may capture tantalizing images from their patients and post them on the social media (Lau et al. 2012 p. 31). Eventually such information may have negative impacts on the image of the particular health facility that the particular nurse is operating. There may be negative reputation branding for that particular health facility following the initial impression created among the users of that particular social media and may consequently avoid visiting the facility and this may lead to huge financial losses or even an ultimate down fall.
Social media may compromise privacy and especially if proper care is not observed by the users. Some of the users are not aware of risking their lives by posting personal information in the social networks (Green Wyllie & Jackson 2014 p. 184-185). Although trained a nurse may fall victims of this problem. It is not uncommon for someone posting information on a social network only for him or her to later realize that some portion of the content appears in other adverts. For instance an innocently registered nurse may post information regarding a particular client without hiding the identity of the patient (Green Wyllie & Jackson 2014 p. 184-185). Eventually this does not only go against the professional and ethical standards of the nursing career but also exposes the identity of the patient and especially in the case where consent was obtained. Important to note is that privacy violation may occur when photos and videos of patients are posted regardless of whether their identity is revealed or not. Nevertheless it may also occur when nurses share information regarding patients medical conditions medication and also giving a description that is demeaning or humiliating to the patient.( need reference)
Finally like many other professionals and workers some nurses have wasted a considerable amount of time in the social networks (Toure 2014 p. 3). Information sharing is important towards personal and career development. However employees should not use social media in sharing non-work related information with their colleagues especially during work time. Some scholars have termed social networking as being addictive and this may tempt some of these registered nurses to use a considerable amount of time when they are supposed to be attending to patients. ( need reference)