Do Facebook Likes Help or Scam Patients?

by jparadisi

by jparadisi

I am cautious when initiating online interactions, with good reason.

Sometimes, being cautious feels uncomfortable, however. I’m talking about the Internet phenomenon of patients asking strangers for Likes, or even donations to cover the cost of their medical expenses on Facebook. Despite a high index of suspicion, like most nurses, I have a soft heart. When I see those sweet little faces of bald children asking me to help them get a bazillion Likes on Facebook, I think, “I’m a cancer nurse, how can I not click Like? What can it hurt?” But I don’t click Like, and I feel guilty.

What I want to know is: How does my Like help these children? Are they really out there anxiously waiting for me, a stranger, to Like their Facebook picture? Have their lives as cancer patients come down to this? Where’s Make a Wish? Wouldn’t they rather go to Disney Land, drive a racecar, or meet a teenage popstar? How exactly does my Like benefit them?

Worse yet, what if my Like does harm? It’s easy for anyone to click on a Facebook photograph, and to add it to a file on their computer. Then they can repost it, adding anything to the original post out of context. What if this cute little kid’s picture was used without either his or his parent’s knowledge, and is passing like a virus throughout cyberspace? Worse than that, what if the child is deceased and a family member discovers the picture unexpectedly?

Perhaps I’m reading too much into it. I only wonder, is this a valid use of social media? Then I feel guilty because some little kid with cancer wants my Like, and I won’t give it to him.

A newer version of Internet donations is crowdfunding, and uses social media platforms such as GoFundMe, or GiveForward. As an artist, I’m familiar with crowdfunding. Frequently, artists raise funds for projects through Kickstarter, but patients collecting donations in this manner to pay for medical expenses is a new phenomenon to me.

According to Crowdfunding a Cure, by Alice Park for Time Magazine, December 3, 2012: “Patients and their relatives are raising thousands of dollars to pay for surgeries, cancer treatments, and more.” The article continues to outline the waging of a successful fundraiser through social media contacts via Facebook, Twitter, and email campaigns. This being the case, it’s not unlikely that I’ll soon feel guilty deciding between emails meriting a contribution, and those that do not.

What do you think? Are you with Likes and donations? If this is the future of donations, how will it affect traditional cancer foundations’ collection and distribution of funds?

Innovative Nurse (Kevin Ross) Reviews The Adventures of Nurse Niki

Last week, I had the pleasure of being a guest of nurse bloggers Keith Carlson and Kevin Ross (or, as I refer to them, ) on RNFM Radio. We spent a fast hour discussing the lifestyle of nurses, and The Adventures of Nurse Niki. I had a fabulous time, and one of the take-homes I went away with is the idea to hash tag forthcoming episodes of The Adventures of Nurse Niki on Twitter #NurseNiki, so regulars readers can discuss them on Twitter. Great idea, Kevin & Keith, thanks!

The Adventures of Nurse Niki

The Adventures of Nurse Niki

Following the interview, Kevin (who turns out is a huge Nurse Niki fan) wrote this awesome essay The Adventures of Nurse Niki: The Daytime Drama You’re Not Reading. The title doesn’t reflect Kevin’s wonderful review of Nurse Niki, or his thoughtful expose of the life of nurses, which is actually the most important part of the review. Here’s an excerpt from Kevin’s post:

Julianna has embarked on something special for the nursing community. The Adventures Of Nurse Niki is one of the most intelligent perspectives of life as a nurse. These are the experiences of a “real nurse” if you ask me. Nurse Niki is a smart and dynamic character who works night shift in the PICU at a California hospital. A good television show or fiction novel could certainly draw out the sexiness of working in the ICU, but with Niki’s story we quickly discover that this dynamic character is also struggling to cope with life at the bedside, and as a mother and wife. Hidden within each chapter the discovery is that Nurse Niki is in fact you. She’s me. Well that is of course if I was a woman.

Niki’s struggles are really no different than yours. She’s trying to find work-life balance and has the same inner turbulence that never seems to allow for the seat belt sign to be turned off. Niki’s hope was to work for awhile as a nurse and then be able to stay home with her daughter when she was born. She so desperately wants to feel that same connection with her husband that she had with him in college, but how can she possibly put her day in perspective for someone who isn’t exposed to the same emotional trauma that a nurse endures day in and day out? Sound familiar?

Our well laid out plans rarely seem to work out in the way we picture them, and so far it certainly hasn’t for Niki as she deals with the conflict of the same characters we all try to play each day in our own lives. What we believe work-life balance should be is really what I like to call controlled chaos. With a house full of boys around here we often find ourselves having to put up barricades and call in the crowd control teams to herd what seems like a bunch of cats out the door for their next soccer practice or school performance.

Just like many of us either currently or in the past, it’s never just a 12-hour shift and only 3 days a week. Nursing is not a part-time job by any stretch. When you work in high acuity settings like these it seems as if you never leave, even with a couple of days off in between your shifts. It’s really a constant you can depend on. Your co-workers become your family. The frightening difference is that they are the ones who understand you the best, and so the plot thickens.

In case you missed it, The Adventures of Nurse Niki Chapter 16 posted last Thursday. I don’t want to spoil it for new readers, but this is a chapter you’ve waited for.

If you haven’t discovered The Adventures of Nurse Niki, the blog is formatted with the most recent episodes first. However, you can conveniently begin at Chapter One by clicking here. Previous episodes are also archived by month on the main menu.

Don’t forget to Like The Adventures of Nurse Niki on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter @NurseNikiAdven #NurseNiki. Let’s do this!

I NEED HELP! The Adventures of Nurse Niki Chapter 8 is Posted

The Adventures of Nurse Niki
The Adventures of Nurse Niki

The Adventures of Nurse Niki Chapter 8 is posted.

In this episode, Niki’ makes breakfast plans with her friend from ER, Corey, and her PICU patient suffers an unexpected, early morning code.

Off the Charts has this to say about The Adventures of Nurse Niki:

This blog is made up entirely of first-person episodes told by a fictional nurse named Niki. Each episode is short, detailed, and engaging, and it’s easy to keep up with it on a regular basis, or quickly catch up if you haven’t yet read any episodes.

                      Jacob Molyneux, AJN senior editor/blog editor

You can interact with Nurse Niki on her Facebook page, and don’t forget to “Like” it. Show Niki some love!

Many thanks to the readers following The Adventures of Nurse Niki, the retweets of  @NurseNikiAdven, and those who not only Like Nurse Niki’s Facebook Fan Page, but post comments too. The support is very much appreciated!

The Adventures of Nurse Niki Chapter 5: Dirty Dishes, Stress Dreams & Earthquake Preparedness

The Adventures of Nurse Niki
The Adventures of Nurse Niki

The Adventures of Nurse Niki Chapter 5 is posted. This week Niki navigates dirty dishes, a  stress dream, and earthquake preparedness. Sound familiar? You probably work night shift!

On her Facebook page, Niki posted a video of a song she was listening to on her CD player. Notice the shopping carts? You’ve probably read Chapter 4. Last week, Niki posted Simon’s recipe for Macaroni and Cheese with gluten-free substitutions. Anyone tried it yet? You can interact with Nurse Niki on her Facebook page, and don’t forget to “Like” it. Show Niki some love!

Many thanks to the readers following The Adventures of Nurse Niki blog, the retweets of  @NurseNikiAdven, and those who not only Like Nurse Niki’s Facebook Fan Page. The support is very much appreciated!

I Wish I’d Said It

Keep your chin up,

No one expected you to save the world,

Otherwise, you would have been born wearing a cape and tights.

Just do the best you can.

Happinessinyourlife.com

Nursing: The Human Facebook

oil on wood 2008 artist: J.Paradisi

Break Out/Out Break oil on wood 2008 artist: J.Paradisi

   

     This morning I deactivated my Facebook account. 

     I opened the account almost a year ago, as an artist networking tool. 

   Right away, I started making “friends.” My first “friend” invitations came written in Italian,  from people with my same last name. I understood the simple messages, but  wondered about the pictures of people I didn’t know and messages written in a language I have limited fluency in.

   Next, friends began finding me, and I was pleased.  Slowly, I realized I was supposed to respond through Facebook, with catchy, one sentence updates about my life, sent to entire groups of friends. I felt like an aqusition to a collection. Running dialogs from friends of friends of friends I don’t know and who don’t know each other filled my homepage. I felt like I’d started watching a movie in the middle of it. I wasn’t reading their entries, and I doubt anyone was reading mine. Maybe I’m doing it wrong.

   As a nurse, I meet new people daily. Some, I never see again. During their appointments, I learn a little about their lives, what they do or did for a living, and tidbits of information helping me to see them as individuals.  Patients also ask  questions about me.  Connections are made and reinforced through months and years of treatment. These “threads” of conversation between nurse and patient create a “Facebook” of flesh and blood. I find these human connections to be one of the most satisfying benefits of nursing.

   A phishing scam, using Facebook, came through my email last week, like an uwanted exposure to swine flu, and pushed me over the edge. I decided to close my Facebook account, at least for now. Hitting the “deactivate my account” tab,  I was prompted to give a reason. I chose, “I do not find Facebook useful.”  A help box popped up with several  suggestions  to enhance my Facebook experience.  Obviously, multitudes find Facebook to be a dynamic social experience.  

     I’m not that girl. I hit “delete.”