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In healthcare today, smartphones are widely used for communication, efficiency, and care. Obviously, a

variety of issues (ethical, professional, and legal) from both the personal and hospital perspectives

must be considered. SCENARIO

You are a nurse in the emergency room, working the Friday 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift, and your evening has

been filled with the usual mix of drunken belligerent teens, wailing babies, chronic obstructive

pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations, falls, fractures, and the routine, regular congestive heart

failure (CHF) patients. Your best friend is texting you from the concert that you had to miss tonight

because you were scheduled to work, and you respond to her between care of patients, jealous that she

is there and you are not. “What a jerk to torture me like this!” you think to yourself.

It is now 2 a.m., and the medics radio once again, notifying you of an incoming motor vehicle accident

victim, ETA of 5 minutes. You sigh and opt to use the restroom, rather than getting that much‐needed

cup of coffee, and prepare a room for your next patient. The medics roll in and begin to fill you in. The

patient is a 28‐year‐old male, a passenger on a bus that was involved in a crash, leaving the vehicle

overturned after rolling over an embankment. There were several fatalities among the bus passengers,

and “this victim has remained unconscious, though his vitals are currently” . . . and as you start to focus

on the patient, you take a second look. Can it be? It is! The lead singer, Jerod, from the band “Blue

Lizards,” who you have adored since you first heard his voice! The band had just left the concert that

you had missed last evening when the accident occurred. You quickly text your best friend . . . “Can you

believe?” and she responds with “Yeah, right. PROVE IT.” So you quickly snap a picture with your

smartphone, when alone with the patient, and send it to her. Can’t hurt, right? Celebrities are “public

property,” and that’s a part of their life, right? Just for good measure, you snap a few more pictures of

the unconscious singer in various stages of undress and then a shot of his home address, phone number,

and demographic information from his electronic health record. You sit your phone down on the

bedside table for a minute as you continue your assessment of the patient.

At 7:00 a.m., you drag your tired body home and straight to bed after a long but eventful night.

What happens next? Choose an ending to the scenario, and construct your paper based on those


1. You are the following nurse on the day shift and discover the night nurse’s phone on the bedside

table. While trying to figure out to whom it belongs, you open the phone and see the

photographs taken the night before. Holy moly! What a find, and nobody could trace you to the


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