Confidentiality. It’s what some make every effort to practice; it’s what others never take into consideration.
Yes, I’m a firm believer in the practice of confidentiality, in my work and in my everyday interaction with others. There are those who respect this in me and those who have laughed at me. There are those who consider me and others who feel the same way as having a “high and mighty” attitude. This doesn’t sway my opinion on confidentiality.
My belief is that we should all practice confidentiality, especially in our work settings, no matter what profession we are in. I work in a school district. The people I work under know I can be depended on to not talk about the details I learn in my position. I wouldn’t have wanted people gossiping about me or my children when they were still in school, so why would I think it’s all right to do that to others?
Yes, as the mother of a volunteer emergency worker, I am interested in the calls my son is involved in. But from the first day he entered the fire department, I’ve preached to him about confidentiality.
He has respected my feelings on this. I’ll ask what is going on as he heads for the door on a call; he’ll give me a quick answer.
When he gets home he may or may not give me details, but he knows not to give names or most details that the public won’t read in the newspaper.
I am proud of him for that. Even when he personally knows someone involved in a call, he hasn’t told me who it was. And if he does slip and tell me something others won’t read, he knows it won’t leave our home.
Sure, we all like to talk about the latest headline or news item, but as professionals, as families of emergency workers, and as individuals we have no right to spread details or rumors about others’ private lives, or incidents involving others.
My belief is that confidentiality should not be a matter of legality; confidentiality should be a matter of respect.