Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Health Administration


College of Health Professions

First Advisor

Kit N. Simpson

Second Advisor

Karen A. Wager

Third Advisor

David Graber


Social media technologies have enormous benefits that facilitate communication, information sharing, and collaboration. The ease with which users can share information instantly has created challenges for the health professions in the form of HIPAA violations via social media. Furthermore, there are few published reports on educational programs aimed at teaching responsible use of social media for students pursuing careers in health professions. This study uses scholarly studies, reports of educational approaches to social media training for health professionals, and legal cases of HIPAA violations via social media to examine social media use in health professions to develop and pilot test a social media educational intervention to be used for training students in health profession appropriate use of social media. An online survey was administered using Survey Monkey to health profession students (n=25) pursuing careers in nursing, radiology, sonography, medical administration, and medical assisting to examine the extent of social media use by health profession students. Results revealed 23 of 25 (92%) students were actively engaged in social media for communication and consumption of information with Facebook being the preference for students. Participants (n=25) averaged 300 friends with the highest number of 1000 friends reported. In addition, an educational intervention in the form of an eCourse with embedded assessments was developed and deployed to participants using a t test Paired Two Sample Means with statistical significance of P < .05 for analysis. Results revealed a significant difference between pretest (M= 12.1) and posttest (M=21.5) assessments. These findings suggest educational intervention as a tool for increasing students' knowledge of appropriate social media use in the clinical setting.


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