Nurses have one of the most important jobs in the world. Trust me. I worked alongside them as a carer. While doctors and surgeons make diagnoses and perform surgeries, they’re the people caring for others when they need it most.
Pediatric nurses, in particular, have an incredibly important job. We are at our most vulnerable when we are newborn babies, especially if we’re premature, and it’s their care which we rely on to give us the best possible start in the world. So, naturally, the Internet was outraged when footage emerged on social media of ‘nurses’ at a naval hospital in Jacksonville, Florida making obscene gestures at newborn babies and forcing them to dance to rap music. Originally shared on Snapchat, the first shocking incident is recored in the form of a photograph of a nurse flipping off a newborn, and it is accompanied by the caption, “How I currently feel about these mini Satans.” The nurse in question also sent a short video of themselves holding up the baby and moving its limbs to make it look like it was dancing to the 50 Cent song ‘In Da Club’. This was filmed by another nurse. Thankfully, the recipients were not amused, and after receiving the shocking Snapchats, they shared them on Facebook. The Snapchats soon received a colossal amount of attention, and the hospital authorities were notified. It then emerged that the staff members in question were not nurses, but junior corpsmen. What makes this story so shocking is that people who work with vulnerable groups have to go through screening process to ensure that incidents like this one do not occur, but sadly these corpsmen decided to abuse their position. Below is the video of the corpsmen making the newborn ‘dance’ to 50 Cent. In response to the viral social media photograph and video, the hospital issued the following statement about the incident:
“We are aware of the inappropriate video and photos and can confirm they are hospital corpsmen, not nurses, but we are unable to confirm their names or tenure in light of the ongoing investigation.
“The individuals have been removed from patient care, meaning they will not be providing direct patient care.
“We are also contacting patients to address any questions or concerns they may have. This type of behavior is incompatible with the Navy’s core values of honor, courage and commitment, as well as medical ethics.
“It also does not reflect the commitment Navy Medicine has to provide the best care our nation can offer to those who serve as well as their families.
“An investigation is underway. Once the investigation is complete, appropriate actions will be taken.”
The identities of the women involved, however, were soon exposed, and a woman named Christy Schaeffer made a point of revealing their identities on the US Navy’s Facebook page. The post has since received hundreds of likes.
“I truly hope that you do not have a Hospital Corpsman working for you by the name Allyson Jeanette Thompson. She is taking pictures of herself with newborn babies giving them the finger, calling them demons and saying how much she hates them. If she is currently employed by you. I hope she is terminated immediately. I have her pictures posted by herself on social media which had countless people infuriated. If you would like the pictures to see for yourself, feel free to contact me and I will send them to you.”
Another woman named Michael Callahan revealed their identities, but she also reposted one of the original posts from the women’s Snapchat ‘friends’ who had received the shocking video and photograph and exposed their behaviour. The corpsmen would have known that their unprofessionalism and cruelty had not gone down well with their Snapchat friends, who immediately replied on the social media app by scorning them for what they’d done. Other nurses were quick to comment on the Snapchats. Jane Agerton, a nurse from Tennessee, wrote: “They need to have their nursing license revoked. I am totally disgusted. How juvenile. Grow up.” We hope that the corpsmen are punished for their behaviour and that it has no lasting repercussions for the family of the infant involved. Babies are some of the most vulnerable people in society and deserve to be treated with respect.
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