I’m getting fairly old and have reached a point where there isn’t much that can happen on a ward round that surprises me (shower heads inserted into rectums on abdominal X-rays, any combination of blood, poo and vomit from any orifice, violence, death etc) but this week I encountered a first. A young female who did not have much of an acute problem other than she was a bit constipated took a “selfie” of herself (obvs) and deliberately included our ward round in the background and subsquently posted it onto Facebook. The nursing staff were incandescent with rage and wanted me to “do something”.
You could see some shadowy out of focus green clad people but otherwise there was no breach of confidentiality and so we requested that she refrained from taking further selfies in hospital but didn’t go as far as asking her to delete the image. Interestingly the same ward was once used by some nefarious characters who faked illness so they could attempt to film a pornographic amateur movie; we gave them the boot.
I ended the week on a bit of a high, I managed to secure front row seats for Mr KBW and I at the nativity of my youngest child by arriving deliberately 40 minutes early, so I took a selfie of me and my empty seats. Youngest child was unimpressed with her nativity and looked pretty bored throughout but hopefully she was encouraged by her mental mummy grinning and waving at her. The nursery teachers don’t like me much, they hardly ever see me and when I am there I am always first at the door to drop off and last to collect but they clocked me in the front row alright.
Selfies of course are topical this week with Obama and Dave gurning and grinning into their iPhones. I am not at all sure what the ethics and legal issues of this situation were, we have a stupid rule that you can’t use mobiles on the ward but of course everyone does. The nurse in charge of the ward has contacted the relevant hospital management person to find out the legal position and whether or not we need to put signs up saying “no use of photography”. It doesn’t strike me that we have a selfie problem in the hospital, we have far more people taking illegal drugs on the ward than taking photographs and there is no sign up saying “No taking tramadol, ketamine or heroin, (unless prescribed by a doctor)”.