Multiple nurses are no longer employed after participating in a viral TikTok video, in which they shared their “labour and delivery icks”.
The video in question, which has since been deleted but is still available to view on Twitter, showed nurses at Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta, Georgia, participating in a social media trend where people share their “icks,” or dislikes.
In their take on the trend, the nurses shared complaints about their labour and delivery patients, such as when they ask if they can “take a shower and eat” when they come in for induction, or when the new parents ask “how much the baby weighs”.
“My ick is when you come in for your induction talking about ‘Can I take a shower and eat?’’ one nurse says in the video, which was originally uploaded by user @hanhinton, while another revealed that her “ick” is “when you ask me how much the baby weighs … and it’s still in your hands”.
According to another nurse at the hospital, their “ick” is when a patient refuses pain medication, including an epidural, but are at an “eight out of 10 pain,” while another claimed their ick is “when the dad comes outside and asks for a paternity test right outside the room door”.
“When we’ve already told you to push the call light, but every five minutes, your family member comes [to] the front desk asking for something else,” one nurse said as another nurse mimicked a patient’s family member asking for water or a blanket.
Although the original video was deleted from TikTok, it has continued to circulate on social media, where many viewers have criticised the healthcare workers for their “unprofessional” behaviour.
“That L&D nurses ‘icks’ video going around on TikTok…. my ‘ick’ is nurses who don’t understand that labouring mothers are often scared, in pain, and unsure about what’s happening to them, and the nurses just mock them instead of providing compassionate health care,” one person tweeted.
Another said: “This is genuinely so disgusting as a L&D nurse myself. You know what gives me the ‘ick’?? Nurses that don’t listen & compassionately care for their patients, especially pregnant women about to go through labour & birth. Not a patient asking to take a shower, of all things.”
“This blows my mind honestly. Labour and delivery is one of the most vulnerable and gut-wrenching experiences for any family. It’s an ‘ick’ for a mother to ask how much her baby weighs? Really? These nurses had no heart in their jobs,” someone else claimed.
Others said the video was especially concerning considering the maternal mortality rates in the US. In February, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), released its National Center for Health Statistics report, in which it reported a slight increase in the number of women dying due to pregnancy or childbirth each year. The number of deaths from maternal causes rose from 658 in 2018 to 861 in 2020, with the maternal mortality rate in 2020 reported to be 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births.
The rates for non-Hispanic Black women were significantly higher than rates for non-Hispanic white and Hipanic women, according to the report, which found that “in 2020, the maternal mortality rate for non-Hispanic Black women was 55.3 deaths per 100,000 live births, 2.9 times the rate for non-Hispanic white women”.
A recent study by the International Journal of Maternal and Child Health and AIDS also found that Georgia had the highest maternal mortality rates in the country.
In a statement published to social media, Emory Healthcare addressed the “disrespectful and unprofessional” comments made by the nurses, and said that it had taken “appropriate actions with the former employees responsible for the video”.
“We are aware of a TikTok video that included disrespectful and unprofessional comments about maternity patients at Emory University Hospital Midtown,” the statement reads. “We have investigated the situation and taken appropriate actions with the former employees responsible for the video.
“This video does not represent our commitment to patient- and family-centred care and falls far short of the values and standards we expect every member of our team to hold and demonstrate.”
The statement also addressed the hospital’s patients, who it said should never feel “they are not being treated with care and respect”.
“Every patient at Emory Healthcare deserves to be cared for by a compassionate, experienced team in a comfortable and safe environment,” the statement concluded.
As of now, Emory Healthcare has not clarified whether the nurses were fired or if they left on their own accord.
The Independent has contacted Emory University Hospital Midtown for comment.