How Nurses on Social Media can Avoid Violating Patient Confidentiality

Social media is a double-edged sword for healthcare professionals. On one hand, nurses on social media can network with fellow professionals and educate people on healthcare topics. However, when used improperly, these communication outlets can also spell big trouble for anyone in the healthcare industry.

It seems like every week there is a story on the news about someone posting something inappropriate on social media. All too often, it’s someone from the healthcare industry. Many of these stories involve HIPPA and confidentiality violations, which can mean serious consequences for everyone involved.

So, how can nurses enjoy the benefits of social media without risking any of the trouble? The first step is to avoid posting any identifying information about a patient online. While this may seem obvious, it is more complicated than many people realize.

Of course, nurses know not to post a picture of a patient with a caption like, “This is Jane Smith. She has XYZ disease and is being treated in Room 123.” However, it may not be so clear when a nurse posts a picture of a small child leaving the hospital with the caption “I’m so relieved that Timmy beat cancer! It was a pleasure to help this brave little boy.”

This seems innocent enough, sure. But think about what is being revealed in the post: the boy’s name, what he looks like, the hospital he was being treated at, and the nurse who attended to him. According to HIPAA, this identifying information violates the patient’s privacy.

As all healthcare workers have heard, consequences for HIPAA violations are often severe. Hospitals can face hefty fines and lawsuits. Healthcare professionals who violate the law can lose their jobs and licenses.

Here are a few simple rules to keep nurses out of trouble on social media:

  1. Do not take pictures of patients on your personal devices. If they want a picture taken, do so on their phone or camera.
  2. Do not discuss patients online. While talking about your job in general terms is typically acceptable, discussing patient specifics is just asking for problems. Stick to things like, “I’m so glad my job allows me to help people in need.”
  3. Don’t be friends with or follow patients on social media sites. This can lead to blurred lines and possible mishaps.
  4. Know HIPAA and your employer’s guidelines. Defer to those rules whenever needed.
  5. If you aren’t sure, don’t post it. No social media post is worth risking your career for.

Nurses should have the same access to social media as everyone else. However, due to the sensitive nature of their occupations, they must take a few more precautions than many other people. By thinking before posting and using common-sense guidelines, healthcare professionals can thrive on social media and avoid making mistakes.

Choosing the Right Nursing Shoes for You

Right Shoes Title Image

Your feet are literally the base of your movement. So, if they aren’t happy, neither is the rest of your body. Ill-fitting shoes can cause persistent problems in your hips, back, knees and feet. This is why well-fitted shoes are especially important for nurses, who spend up to 12 hours per day working on their feet.

However, finding just the right shoe can be an exhausting exercise. They have to meet your employer’s standards, protect you from spills, and remain comfortable all day long. It’s a lot to ask from a shoe. But with the right information, it can be simple to find the best shoe for you.

Pick a Style

There are three basic styles of nursing shoes: sneakers, slip-ons and clogs. It’s best to consider your workplace guidelines, type of nursing and personal preferences when choosing a style. Each offers benefits for different types of nurses.

Sneakers are the typical athletic shoes designed to withstand lots of wear and tear. They are perfect for nurses who work in a fast-paced setting, such as an ER. If you choose sneakers, you can go to a specialized running store to find them. They will analyze your feet and the way you walk to determine the best shoes for you.

Slip-on shoes for nurses have supportive backs like sneakers, but do not have laces. They are great for nurses who do not want to deal with the hassle of re-tying shoes constantly, but who need plenty of support.

Clogs are open in the back, but closed in the front, offering plenty of room. The best clogs will offer a strap around the back for some extra support, however. These shoes are often specifically designed to relieve pressure points in the foot and are great for nurses who prefer a little wiggle room in their shoes.

Find a Shoe as Unique as You

What works for your best friend might not be the best choice for you. Your body will have different needs, and it’s important to take those needs into consideration. Here are a few physical factors to consider:

Foot size – Measure your feet to make sure you’re getting shoes that are the proper size. It’s best to measure them after a long day walking around, that way you take into account any swelling that may occur.

Weight – Nurses who are heavier should look for shoes with more padding and cushioning. This will help the shoes last longer and help you stay comfortable all day long.

Arch – Some people have high arches, other people have flat feet. Make sure you are buying shoes that cater to the shape of your foot. If you have a lot of trouble with this, consider getting specialized insoles for added comfort and support.

Injuries – If you are recovering from a lower-body injury, or have chronic pain in your back, legs or feet, get shoes with extra support. The ideal shoes should offer a lot of stability and cushioning while your body heals.

A Few Extra Tips

  1. Good shoes don’t have to be broken in. You should feel comfortable when you try them on. If you don’t, they are either the wrong size or style.
  1. Change your shoes every 500 miles. With a lot of use, shoes wear out and their support fades. Replace your shoes often to ensure proper support.
  1. Look for slip-preventing shoes. Nurses work around all kinds of substances that can spill and cause slips. Be sure to find shoes with great traction that will keep you free of falls.

If you continue to have trouble finding proper shoes, consult a specialist. It’s important to take care of yourself while you’re taking care of others. This means giving your feet, knees and back a chance.

For more nursing tips and ideas, follow NurseCore on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Helpful Apps for Nurses

Nurse on Smart Phone

It’s no secret that technology has changed the healthcare industry in incredible ways. New treatments and techniques are being discovered all the time, leading to better and more efficient care. We see these advancements everywhere from the operating table to the pharmacy counter.

We even see technology advancing healthcare with apps on our smart phones and tablets. There are many apps out there designed to help nurses and other healthcare professionals perform more efficiently and effectively. Below are a few of these apps for nurses:


It’s easy to see why this app is consistently ranked among the most used and most helpful apps for healthcare professionals. In the free version, users can easily access information on specific medications, drug interactions, healthcare providers, and formularies. There is also a great feature that allows users to easily identify stray pills. The paid version has even more helpful information like ICD-9 and CPT codes.

Price: Free or $159.99

Supported on: Apple and Android devices

Nursing Central

This app by Unbound Medicine is a one-stop shop for medical information. It contains a medical dictionary, a drug guide, and information on diseases, disorders, and laboratory tests. The one-year subscription to Nursing Central gives users access to all of this information through the mobile app and website.

Price: $169.99

Supported on: Apple and Android devices, all major web browsers


This app allows English speaking nurses to provide thorough care to non-English speaking patients like never before. The MediBabble translator breaks down the language barrier, allowing nurses to obtain more complete and robust medical histories. The app has a large database of common questions that only require gestural answers. It currently translates to Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Haitian Creole, and Russian, with plans to add more languages.

Cost: Free

Supported on: Apple devices


What apps do you use to make your shift more efficient? Will you be trying any of these? To find more helpful information, tips and inspiration for healthcare workers, be sure to follow NurseCore on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

5 Amazing New Medical Technology Advancements

One of the best parts of working in medicine is having a front row seat to advances that will change the world. Imagine working in healthcare when germ theory was first discovered or when vaccines were first implemented. What an exciting time that must have been for every healthcare worker.

However, there’s no reason to be jealous of the nurses of the past. Today, we are seeing scientific and technological advances like never before. The way we care for patients is changing all the time, so it is vital that healthcare workers stay caught up on the latest advancements in medical technology.

With that in mind, here are five incredible new medical devices to look forward for in the near future:

1. The KAMRA Inlay Corneal Implant

KARMA Inlay Corneal Implant


This inventive new implant seeks to replace reading glasses for those with presbyopia, the blurred vision many people over 40 years of age experience when reading. After conducting a 5-year clinical study of 508 patients, AcuFocus received approval from the FDA in April 2015.

The KARMA Inlay is a circular, opaque device, which is surgically implanted in the patient’s non-dominant eye. In patients who have not had cataract surgery, the device extends the depth-of-focus and allows the patient to easily read or work on a computer without glasses.

The FDA says that this implant marks the first major advancement in presbyopia surgery in over a decade. The implant is now available in over 50 countries and will help many patients see more clearly.


2. Pain-Free Blood Testing Technology

Painless Blood Drawing Device

Most healthcare professionals have had a few patients that are terrified of having their blood taken. Sometimes, the process is more painful for the person trying to take the blood than it is for the patient. Soon, you might be able to say goodbye to all of that, thanks to a new device from Tasso, Inc.

Without any pain, patients will be able to take blood from themselves in about two minutes. After collecting the sample, patients can simply take it to the clinical lab to have their tests done. Tesso is currently developing a way to safely store the blood sample for up to a week.

3. Electronic Pill to Combat Obesity

Electronic Obesity Pill


It’s no secret that obesity is an overwhelming problem in the United States. In fact, more than one-third of American adults are obese. MelCap Systems has designed an electronic pill in hopes of combating this epidemic.

The pill is currently in development and has been granted a patent. Here’s how it would work:

  • The patient ingests the device, which is roughly the size of a daily vitamin.
  • The pill travels to the stomach, where it absorbs fluid and expands.
  • An external magnet guides the pill to sit in the perfect place in the stomach.
  • The patient controls the pill from their smart phone. When commanded, it electronically stimulates the stomach, which then tells the brain that enough food has been consumed.
  • The patient avoids overeating, consuming fewer calories.
  • After 21 days, the pill is naturally passed through the digestive system.

This treatment could prove revolutionary for obesity and help millions of patients reach their health goals.

4. Smart, Huggable Bear to Comfort Children in Hospitals

Smart Huggable Bear


The sweetest entry on this list has to be Huggable, an interactive teddy bear developed by the MIT Media Lab. It helps ease children’s anxiety in the hospital by asking the children questions, joking with them, and playing games. The bear’s name is Huggable, and it will also be equipped with sensors that can tell how hard it’s being squeezed, which could be an effective way to measure a child’s pain. You really just have to see the video to understand how amazing this bear is.

5. Implant that Accurately Predicts Which Cancer Drugs Work

Implant to Predict Effective Cancer Drugs

As you likely know, not all cancer is the same. A drug that destroys a tumor in one patient could be completely ineffective in another. Because of this, there are a plethora of different cancer drugs on the market. However, predicting which drugs will work on a patient has always been little more than educated guessing. Until now, that is.

Researchers at MIT have developed and tested a tiny, implantable device that could accurately predict which drugs would work on a specific tumor. Once the device is implanted into a tumor, it releases minute amounts of different cancer medications. Each of these medications affects only a slice of the tumor. Then, doctors can see which parts of the tumor reacted best and determine a course of action.

Of course, time is of the essence when treating a cancer patient. This breakthrough could mean spending less time with the wrong treatments and giving the patient more time with the best treatment possible.


Which of these technological advances intrigues you the most? Do you think they will help you in your career? Let us know! You can follow NurseCore on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more medical news, tips, and inspiration.

Tips on Surviving Spring Allergies

It’s nearly time to put away the winter coats, turn off the heater, and get out the allergy medicine. That’s right, spring is right around the corner and it is bringing seasonal allergies with it. When the sun comes out and the flowers bloom, many people start sneezing.

Spring Allergies

While the sniffles can be irritating for anyone with spring allergies, it can be particularly frustrating for healthcare professionals. Allergies can make you sluggish and foggy, when you want to be attentive for your patients. Here are four ways to help send your allergies packing this season:

  1. Take Your Medication on Time

It’s something nurses say so often that they feel like broken records, “Take your medicine as recommended.” Now is the time to take your own advice. Remember, you have to be a good patient in order to be an alert nurse.

  1. Know What You Are Allergic To

If you haven’t done so already, get an allergy test done. This will let you know what common allergens are at the root of your problem. After all, the easiest way to get rid of your symptoms is to avoid the irritant that is causing them.

  1. Shower After Spending Time Outdoors

If you spend a significant amount of time outdoors, you become covered with allergens. When you come inside your home, you track those irritants in with you. Imagine sleeping in a bed of pollen. That’s exactly what you’re doing if you don’t change your clothes and shower after time spent outdoors.

  1. Rest When You Need To

Despite all your efforts, sometimes allergy symptoms will continue to deplete your energy. You take your medicine, rinse your nose with salt water, avoid allergens, and still your stubborn symptoms remain. This may be your body’s way of telling you to rest. If at all possible, take a day to relax and heal. You and your patients will be better off in the long run if you take care of yourself.

As a healthcare professional, you know what works to treat your allergy symptoms. Just be sure to listen to your body and trust that nursing instinct. Treat yourself with the same care you treat your patients, and you’ll be on your way to wellness.

Why You Should Consider Working in Home Healthcare

Why You Should Consider Home HealthcareSome nurses are most fulfilled in the operating room. Others thrive when caring for patients in a medical ICU. However, some nurses find that a hospital setting isn’t what brings them the most joy. For nurses who feel this way, home healthcare might just be the perfect fit. Many healthcare professionals find that this dynamic field provides opportunities, benefits and job satisfaction that no other industry can.

Increased Need

As America’s largest generation reaches the age in which they require in-home healthcare, the industry is expected to experience incredible growth. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that home healthcare will see 69% growth by 2020. Of course, this means that home healthcare professionals will enjoy a wealth of job opportunities around the country for years to come.

Diverse Patients

It’s not only the Baby Boomer generation that is contributing to this sharp increase in demand. As home healthcare becomes more affordable than an extended hospital stay, many chronically ill patients are choosing this option. Home healthcare nurses have the opportunity to care for a variety of patients of all ages.

Closer Relationships

Possibly one of the most rewarding aspects of home healthcare is that it allows nurses to foster closer relationships with their patients. Because they are being treated at home, patients often feel more comfortable and open. Also, many nurses work with the same patients long-term, creating a bond that allows for more comprehensive care.

Access to Patient’s Environment

Furthermore, home healthcare allows the nurse to assess the patient’s environment and suggest changes as necessary. The trained eye of a medical professional may be able to spot problems in the home that the patient never thought to mention. Fixing a problem at the source in this way can be a rewarding experience for any medical professional.


Of course, home healthcare nurses face unique challenges in their field. However, nurses with an independent spirit, great organizational skills, and a friendly demeanor clear these obstacles with ease. If home healthcare sounds like a great career fit for you, contact NurseCore today.

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