How to be professional online

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has published new guidance, which sets out how pharmacy professionals are expected to behave when using social media. 

The guidance – Demonstrating professionalism online – emphasises the fact that under the GPhC’s ‘standards of conduct, ethics and performance’, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians have the same responsibilities and obligations when interacting with others online as they do when talking to people face-to-face. 

Acknowledging the risks and benefits of using social media, the document urges pharmacy professionals to ‘always think about the expectations and perceptions of patients, colleagues and employers’ and points out that ‘anything you say online can be easily copied and redistributed, and can be taken out of context’.

The factsheet, available via pharmacyregulation.org, includes a simple list of ‘Dos and Don’ts’ for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to follow when using social media, such as ‘do maintain proper professional boundaries’ and ‘don’t get drawn into negative, unconstructive discussions’, along with links to further guidance from other organisations. 

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