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Purpose of the guidelines

The Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR) publishes this document to offer advice and information to the radiography workforce about communicating, sharing and contributing to public commentary online. Given the breadth and ever expanding nature of social media there is the possibility that there will be  omissions, however, SCoR believes it is necessary to provide  guidance on Social Media (SoMe) platforms and encourage the radiography workforce to consider how and where to promote the profession. Additionally, this document provides an overview of the legal issues. Furthermore, as Cunningham (2014) states “If we recognise that ‘becoming a professional is an interpersonal and complex activity’, then we should aspire to develop guidance on SoMe and professionalism that reflects this”.

While other excellent guidelines on the professional use of SoMe exist (eg the Royal College of General Practitioners’ Social Media Highway Code ) there are a number of issues specific to online communication, which warrant this specific publication: 

  1. Radiography is not as well understood by the public as other allied health professions (AHPs). However, the advent of SoMe has provided the profession with a medium to address this (Robinson and Oakley, 2014). The radiography workforce can grasp this opportunity to become more visible to the public but need to consider not only the best tools and online spaces but also the impact of their posts on public and other health professions’ perceptions of the profession. 
  2. Radiographic images as visual and digital objects are ideal for sharing through SoMe networks for teaching and professional development purposes. Indeed, a number of well-respected organisations such as Radiopaedia use online images for this purpose. However, it is important to understand the legal and ethical implications of using patient data in this way. 

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