Preface: I work at a hospital and am considering asking a question related to the environment. I understand the standards within very well, but I’d like to see the consensus on acceptable scope.
In certain environments there comes a set of rules and standards to guide people into how they communicate with others.
Examples of this might include:
- Call centers
These guidelines are there to maintain a consistency for the root organization operating their service and a way to help those working in the environment make fast decisions.
Anytime someone is communicating with another human there’s going to be situations in which they’ll need to use an interpersonal skill to resolve a problem.
These regulated environments have been setup to mostly guide people into making these decisions; usually in favor of the organization’s own image.
However, in my experiences, there always comes a time where people you interact with want to approach a more personal connection. And even occasionally bring up something you’re hesitant about. You aren’t always prepared for this by guidelines.
This site is very diverse and includes people from a lot of backgrounds. However, we’ve remained consistent with the idea that professional advice can’t be given in most cases because qualifications are difficult to verify.
When a user answers a question, the community doesn’t necessarily have the means to validate what they’re saying is correct, and if they’re considering everything within the situation they should. It could be very likely that an answerer suggests something contrary to what the OP’s environment recommends.
An example of something that would not be acceptable to ask is: “How to tell a patient they’re not going to die from omphalitis?”. Allowing any user to answer this question could yield a significant problem for the OP. The procedures leading up to that question have already been defined by standards... but not everyone would know that.
Should we allow users to ask questions about an interpersonal skill/situation in a specialized environment?
If we do, what would be the limit to when the question becomes out of scope?
I think it would be nice to document this within the help section for newer users as well.