Article: Volume 41 Number 8 Page 690 - October 2014

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  Dent Update 2014; 41: 690-696

Ethics in Dentistry:  The Dos and Don’ts of Social Networking in Dentistry

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Abstract: Online social networking sites are a popular way to share interests, build and maintain relationships and stay more connected to the world. Tools that were not available a few years ago are now used on a daily basis. Social networking has been likened to a digital tattoo. Both Universities and Healthcare Institutions have concerns about the potential implications that students, educators and practitioners may face when using the media. The main concerns are related to patient protection by both qualified and student healthcare workers. This article outlines the guidelines put in place to avoid any mistakes made on SNS and how to maintain an e-professional aura whilst using SNS. Examples of good and bad social networking by students and practitioners are given. How the implementation of recently introduced guidelines impacts on the use of SNS in dentistry requires further research.

Clinical relevance: Social networking has become part of everyday life and yet it can create problems for dental healthcare professionals as they attempt to accommodate both personal and professional ‘aura’ in the medium.

Author notes: Binish Khatoon, BSc, MSc, Kirsty B Hill, BA, PGCE, MSc, PhD and A Damien Walmsley, BDS, MSc, PhD, FDS RCPS, School of Dentistry, University of Birmingham, St Chad’s Queensway, Birmingham B4 6NN, UK.

Objective: To understand how to interact professionally with social media.

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