Nurses are getting backlash for sharing their patient icks on TikTok

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Problematic on TikTok is a weekly column that unpacks the troubling trends popping up on the popular platform and appearing in Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter on Tuesdays. If you want to get this column a day before we’ll publish it, subscribe to web_crawlr to get the daily bullet of internet culture delivered straight to your inbox.

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Problematic on TikTok


TikTok loves “the ick”. The term often used in connection with dating and Relationships, describes a behavior or instance that someone finds disruptive or unattractive. For example when you date someone who is rude service staff, that could give you “the ick”. And the term’s hashtag, #TheIck, has over a billion views on TikTok.

Some nurses and other medical professionals have subscribed to the long-standing trend and shared patient behavior that they find disruptive. in one tick tock, emergency care Staffers shared their “icks” occur when a patient mistakenly describes their temperature as a fever; patients who move their arms when having their blood pressure checked; and coming to the emergency room with chest pains, among other things.

And in one tick tock that’s done countless headlinesAtlanta obstetric and delivery nurses listed their “icks,” including pregnant patients who asked for it Shower prior to labor induction, refusing epidural for severe pain, and asking how much their baby weighs before being weighed.

Why it matters

Many found both TikToks to be very insensitive, a message apparently conveyed to the medics who made them –The videos have now been deleted from the accounts where they were originally posted and reposted by another TikToker.

TikToker called the birth and delivery nurses “unprofessional” lack of compassion, unsupportive, judgmental, and neglectful; The emergency workers were labeled by commentators as privileged and ignorant. Chloé Adams-Gibbs, a midwife and doula, said the birth and delivery nurses’ comments showed they were unaware of trauma and a “disgusting” Attitude to work with pregnant women.

Others took their thoughts to Twitter, tweeting about how nurses need to have compassion and empathy for their patients given the immense power they wield.

“[A] Black nurse who does an ick video, ESPECIALLY a birth and delivery nurse who knows damn well that black women face more complications during childbirth and pregnancy than other demographics is ignorant, asf,” @tashazlll tweeted.

“My goodness [is when]… people who have terrible power over people who are most vulnerable – show this level of contempt, mockery and indifference,” @megankstack tweeted.

The moral of the story? Keep your workplace grievances about people experiencing a crisis between you and your co-workers, especially if you work in healthcare. If not, you could risk it lose your job.

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*Initial publication: December 14, 2022 at 6:00 am CST

Tricia Crimmins

Tricia Crimmins is the IRL Editor at the Daily Dot. She is also a New York-based comedian and an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She has previously written for Mashable, Complex Networks and Moment magazine. She can be found on Twitter at @TriciaCrimmins.

Tricia Crimmins Nurses are getting backlash for sharing their patient icks on TikTok

Jaclyn Diaz

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