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Friday, July 29, 2011

The hospital: not a place for planking

Planking as demonstrated above by the picture showing Snoopy is fast becoming a craze in the Philippines. I will not be surprised to see more photos online (in social media sites) of students in the field of health professions planking.

Planking, as described in Wikipedia, has these elements:

  • participant is lying face down in an unusual or incongruous location 
  • participant's hands touching the sides of the body
  • having a picture taken in planking position
  • having planking picture posted on the internet
From the description, it can be observed that the person must be in the planking position in an unusual or incongruous location. These 2 words (unusual, incongruous) are what concerns me because medical students, nursing students, medical technology interns and even doctors may find areas in the hospital including the hospital laboratory as tempting, being areas that fit the criteria for planking locations. Imagine if these people would plank inside the operating room, in between analyzer machines, etc. Imagine if present and potential employers as well as patients see these planking in the hospital photos.

For those thinking about planking in the hospital, read this: In 2009, several doctors and nurses in a hospital in England were reported to be suspended because of playing the lying down game (planking) while on duty in various areas of the hospital.

It is just inappropriate to plank in the hospital duty time or not. One might find a planking-in-the-hospital photo an amusing sight for his or her online friends but it is not actually a pleasant photo to see online by many others. For me, it is an unprofessional act to do anywhere in the hospital, much more if done while on duty even if one is not busy. It does not look good.

Same goes with owling, a variation of planking. Owling is almost similar to planking except for the position. In owling, the person squats like an owl in unusual or incongruous locations also.

Like the responsible use of social media, there should also be responsible and safe planking. For after all, planking is closely related to social media as planking photos are posted on social media sites.

So health professionals and students of related health professions, do not jump right away in the planking bandwagon. Think before you plank.

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