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bitchy | Emory University Hospital fired the nurses who made an ‘ick’ TikTok about laboring patients


Stock photo credit: Letticia Massari on pexels
Being in labor is one of the most vulnerable times in a woman’s life. Pregnancy and childbirth are a huge risk to women’s health, and Black women are 3.5 times more likely to die of childbirth complications than white women. There’s surely a much higher disparity and overall maternal death rate now that abortion services are being restricted in so many states. That’s all preface to this story about nurses in the maternity ward of Emory University Hospital posting a TikTok about their “icks” from patients. The examples they gave were all pretty benign requests and part of doing their job. They’ve since deleted it but it’s been downloaded and shared. As a result they’ve been fired presumably – Emory University issued a statement saying the remarks did not reflect their core values and that they’ve “taken appropriate action with the former employees.”

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.

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.

[From The Washington Post]

I’ve posted a segment of the video below. How is it an “ick” to ask to take a shower and to eat before an induction? Even with insurance it costs an average of $2,854 to have a baby in a hospital. It’s a very basic service to ask for and they’re paying thousands for it! Women have so many things to do to prepare for childbirth and this is just a small amount of help they’re requesting. Nurses have hard jobs sure, but it’s literally their job to make sure patients are comfortable and taken care of. How heartless are these nurses? It’s traumatic to have a baby so of course you’re going to get confused and ask dumb questions like how much the baby weighs when you’re holding it. I look for my glasses when they’re on my head all the time. Family members go to the nurses station to ask for things because they don’t want the nurses to have to get up. They think they’re helping. The only real “ick” in that video is the one where there was a guy on the maternity ward who had two partners in labor at the same time.

Also, I’ll never forget talking to an old acquaintance who became a nurse and having her tell me horribly demeaning stories about patients, like the worst most ridiculous stories. It just made me think that she’s a trash person who hates her job and is terrible at it. All of these nurses are in the wrong profession and Emory needs to examine the culture at their hospital that made these nurses think that 1) any of these things were more than normal requests from patients and 2) that it was OK to post this. Sadly, several women have posted that they’ve lost babies and have had bad experiences at Emory with those same nurses. These attitudes don’t just make laboring women uncomfortable, they put them and their babies at risk.


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