A nurse who goes by Nurse Nya (@nurse_nya) on TikTok is going viral after she posted a video on her page that shows her calling out one of her colleagues for shaming a patient for poor sanitation. In the clip, she pretends to be a nurse who detects a foul odor alongside the text, “POV: your patient forgot her tampon inside.”
“I would rather be confronted with a tampon that has been there for a week and a half than your attitude,” Nya says in the video. “I would help them with a smile on my face. You have no idea why someone might have a tampon in for that long. Maybe it’s self-neglect.”
@_zuleyka._ Wow. yall are so comfortable giving pts legitimate reason to NEVER follow-up or seek help. #nursenya #patientadvocate #nursepractitionerstudent #blacknurses #blacknurse #blacknursesrock #empathy #misogyny
The clip suggests one of her fellow nurses had a bad reaction to a patient who forget to remove their menstrual product.
Nurse Nya also highlighted the potential risk of toxic shock syndrome, which can occur when someone leaves a tampon in for too long. She said it’s the practitioner’s responsibility to assess “how long” the product has been in place.
“You volunteered to work in the healthcare field. Stop doing it if you feel this way,” she continues.
It’s never a good idea to leave a tampon in place for more than eight hours. Women may even want to change out their tampon more often just to be safe.
“We typically recommend that you change your tampon every four to six hours, though many people will change them more frequently if they’re experiencing a heavy flow,” says women’s health specialist Sara Youngblood, CNP. “Definitely do not leave the same tampon in for longer than eight hours, which is when your risk goes up.”
Leaving the tampon in for more than eight hours can lead to the growth of bacteria, which can lead to infection and eventually toxic shock syndrome. TSS is caused by the build up of bacteria that releases toxins into the bloodstream.
“The vagina can be a breeding ground for bacteria because it’s dark, warm and moist,” Youngblood explains. “Those are bacteria’s favorite things.”
This can lead to vaginal odor, discharge, pelvic pain, and fever, which could be a sign of serious health concerns.
“Toxic shock syndrome is very well discussed in sexual education, which has led to a basic widespread understanding of not leaving a tampon in for too long,” Youngblood says.
TSS remains rare, according to the Cleveland Clinic, affecting one out of every three women who menstruate.
Many users took to the comments to criticize the nurse’s behavior. “Stuff like that is why I always avoid doctors/hospitals. Fear of being mocked, regardless of why I’m there,” wrote one person.
“I’ve avoided care before because I was afraid of what someone would think. Those TikToks are never a good look,” another wrote.
Others defended the patient in an effort to destigmatize what can be an “embarrassing” incident. “I’ve always thought this was so cruel. I had a friend who just forgot, didn’t realize until the next period. Went to the ER with huge shame,” one commenter shared.
“My OB was awesome. She folded it up in her glove as she pulled it out, quick n fast n never said a word. I appreciated that so much,” another said.