In a TikTok video last week, four employees wearing nurse scrubs at an Atlanta hospital revealed their “icks” regarding labor and delivery patients.
“My ick is when you come in for your induction,” a nurse began the video, “talking about, ‘Can I take a shower and eat?’”
“My ick is when you ask me how much the baby weighs,” another nurse followed, “and it’s still … in your hands.”
The TikTok trend, which started at least two years ago, usually has users expose their dating turnoffs, such as bad hygiene or arrogance. But the health-care workers at Emory University Hospital Midtown crossed a line when they made the “icks” video about their patients’ behavior, according to their employer, Emory Healthcare.
In a statement posted online Thursday, after the video received much online backlash, Emory Healthcare wrote that it had “taken appropriate action with the former employees responsible for the video.”
“This video does not represent our commitment to patient- and family-centered care and falls far short of the values and standards we expect every member of our team to hold and demonstrate,” the statement continued.
Emory Healthcare did not respond Sunday night to a request from The Washington Post seeking clarification on whether the workers had been fired or left on their own accord.
An Oregon nurse bragged on TikTok about not wearing a mask outside of work. She’s now on administrative leave.
While the original 52-second video has been deleted, copies have spread across social media in the past week, prompting comments from some pregnant patients who said the nurses’ remarks only amplified their anxiety about childbirth.
Maternal mortality rates have increased across the United States in recent years. A study last year by the International Journal of Maternal and Child Health and AIDS found that Georgia had the highest maternal mortality rates in the United States, including 46.2 deaths per 100,000 live births for all women and 66.6 deaths per 100,000 live births for Black women.
Uma M. Reddy, an obstetrics and gynecology professor at Columbia University, said the quality of care patients receive affects those problems.
“Patients who are well-supported … do much better and have better outcomes. These kind of comments make you worried if patients are being listened to,” Reddy told The Post, referring to the nurses’ TikTok video.
Some hospitals set their own social media policies, but the American Nurses Association lists general guidelines on its website, including recommendations for nurses to avoid “heavy-self promotion,” while “maintaining a respectable presence” at all times.
Reddy said nurses should understand that patients will naturally have requests and anxieties during what is often a stressful procedure for them.
“Undergoing childbirth is a situation where you’re dependent upon nurses and health-care providers to support you and to listen,” Reddy said. “It’s a big unknown, and you look to the nurse for support.”