Thursday, December 4, 2014

Resources for veteriarians and vet students on social media use

Phil small dog coffee

Do you use social media? If you do, chances are you have your own set of rules about what you post, or who can view what post. I’ve often heard people say, “I’d never post anything I wouldn’t want my grandmother to see” – which works if you have a conservative grandmother. But grandmothers are entitled to be just as liberal and colourful as they wish, and may not be the best yardstick of social media etiquette.

The British Veterinary Association has just released guidelines for veterinarians using social media and online networking forums. (Check them out here).

While the guidelines recognise that vets are human beings and an awful lot of human beings are on social media right now, the document also states that

The standards expected of veterinary surgeons in the real world are no different to the standards they should apply online, and veterinary surgeons must uphold the reputation of the veterinary profession at all times.
These guidelines follow the Australian Medical Association’s social media guidelines, which were released shortly after the epidemic of “planking” ravaged social media. Even paramedics, doctors and nursing staff were susceptible.
The full guidelines can be viewed here.

Have you ever felt conflicted about social media and professionalism?