Healthcare providers are leaning into the trend of making videos for social media at work, but some say TikToking has a time and a place.
One nurse recently found that out the hard way after she posted a video of herself reacting to a patient’s death on TikTok. She soon found herself inundated with comments and questions about why she felt the need to upload such a private moment to the internet.
The nurse in question goes by the username @olivia_tylerr33 on TikTok. Her account has since been deleted, but the video lives on in infamy.
In the video, the nurse can be seen crying and pacing around the hospital hallway with the text, “Lost a patient today. Shake it off, you have five more hours,” as Sia’s song “Unstoppable” plays in the background with the lyrics: “I put my armour on, show you how strong I am. I put my armour on, I’ll show you that I am. I’m unstoppable.”
— nikki (@ateenyalien) July 2, 2022
Hundreds of providers and users soon flooded the post with comments. Many people slammed the nurse for using a patient’s death for “clout”.
“If my loved one died and I opened TikTok to see the nurse that was looking after them made a TikTok, two people would’ve died in the hospital that day,” wrote one person.
“My biggest fear of having to go to a hospital is that they are crawling with tens of thousands of Tik Tok nurses,” another commenter posted.
Using the duet feature on TikTok, other people have been piggybacking off the nurse’s video by adding their own content.
User Luke Cook mocked the nurse by pretending to be her co-worker who filmed the clip. “Put some emotional music over that, you got a viral hit on your hands. Uhhhh, we should probably tell the family now, huh,” he says in the video.
In another duet, @brodywellmaker pretended to be another nurse who interrupted the two filming.
“Doc, Doc, we’re losing another one I’m…,” he shouted before he whispered: “Oh s*** you guys are recording a TikTok, sorry. I wasn’t in that, was I?”
The viral clip eventually made its way to Twitter where someone added the caption, “Medical workers stop posting TikToks challenge (impossible).”
“She unplugged the life support machine to setup a ring light,” wrote another person.
“If a medical provider ran to make a TikTok after I flatlined… I’m haunting the shit out of her,” wrote someone else.
“Using a person’s death to talk about how great she is for finishing her shift. Winning limbo with how low she can go,” reads another comment.
Others questioned her instincts as a nurse and whether the video was purely performative in nature.
“The last thing I’d do is make a video,” another Twitter user said. “What the hell?”
“When you are emotionally upset at the loss of a life (rightfully so) but then draw attention to yourself so others can see that you’re upset, then it is no longer about the person who died or their memory, but rather about yourself. That is called narcissism,” another person wrote.
Another nurse agreed the video was inappropriate.
“As a nurse for 7 years, no one death would drive me to receive attention on the internet. However, as a mental health provider be aware of narcissistic people because they exist in every field of work,” wrote a healthcare provider.
However, watching someone die at work can be grueling, especially if it happens multiple times a day. Some people were quick to defend the nurse.
“Everyone is calling this cringe etc, but I don’t feel like it’s automatically performative or whatever. I’m sure it’s hard to lose a patient,” one Twitter user wrote. “And I’ve taken selfies while crying my eyes out. Sometimes you just wanna feel seen when you’re going through it.”
Is it appropriate for nurses to make TikToks at work? If so, when should they be allowed to do so?