Updated as of 12/18/2022 at 9:00 a.m. ET
Not to sound uptight, but sometimes I worry that social media has truly ruined our perception of what should be public and what needs to be left in your therapy sessions. Case in point, the nurses at Emory Hospital in Midtown who know find themselves without a job thanks to their viral post on Tik Tok.
If you haven’t already seen the post of labor and delivery nurses talking about their “icks,” as a a part of a Tik Tok challenge, I’d suggest you brace yourself for a wave of disgust.
In the video, the nurses openly mock their patients for requesting not to use an epidural, asking for a blanket, and inquiring about the weight of their baby.
Here’s the Update. This week, Emery Hospital Midtown fired the nurses and released a statement condemning their actions in Facebook post.
“This video does not represent our commitment to patient and family-centered care and falls short of the values and standards we expect every member of our team to hold and demonstrate,” they wrote in part.
Do you agree with the punishment of the nurses ? Let us know in comments.
Meanwhile, let’s give you some context: The hospital these nurse worked at disproportionately serves Black patients in Georgia, a population that suffers extremely high maternal mortality rates.
Being Black and pregnant in Georgia is terrifying enough without having someone on your medical team mock you on a public platform. Statewide, Black women die at over three times the rate of white women due to pregnancy complications.
The attitude from the nursing staff, who have since been fired, also speaks to a larger issue of pregnant and postpartum patients not being listened to by their medical team, leading to disastrous results.
In New York, Amber Rose Isaac, a 26-year-old Black mother, died within minutes of giving birth after her concerns about her high-risk pregnancy were ignored.
According to the Centers for Disease Control more than 80 percent of pregnancy-related deaths are preventable, meaning adequate compassionate medical care can make a world of difference.
Even in cases where a patient doesn’t die, having a medical team that is dismissive of a patient’s medical needs or desires can be incredibly problematic.
Take the nurse in the video who made fun of a patient about declining an epidural. She described her ick as a patient “saying you don’t want any medicine, no epidural but you are at an 8 out of 10 pain with just the Cervidil and you’re still closed finger tip.”
Black patients birthing plans are routinely dismissed, even in cases where the pregnancy is low-risk. Get this: an analysis from 2016 and 2019 found that Black women in low-risk pregnancy situations were much more likely to have cesarians than white women with low-risk pregnancies, and it’s still a problem.
It’s unsurprising that stories have been coming out of the wood work from mothers who say that they were treated poorly at the Atlanta hospital.
At the end of the day, this is just one hospital. And these nurses have all (rightfully!!) been let go from their jobs. But the issues with how medical staff treat pregnant people and especially Black pregnant people is going to need to be continuously addressed if we’re going to stop the epidemic of maternal deaths.