Oregon Nurse On Leave After Telling TikTok How Bad She Is At Her Job
These days, people often think they should put literally everything online. Everything they eat, everything they drink, every odd thought that pops into their head. This is very unfortunate when these people are exceptionally uninteresting, but even more unfortunate when they are exceptionally ignorant.
One might think with well over a decade of social media under our belts, most of us would have figured out that posting stuff online that would be a bad look for our job might result in losing it. For instance, if I were off on social media being all "Actually I love Donald Trump and am pretty sure Satanists are trying to eat all the babies" or something, that might cause some problems for my job here. But that is apparently not a lesson everyone has learned.
Late last week, Ashley Grames, an oncology nurse at Salem Hospital in Oregon, donned her scrubs and her kookiest facial expressions and did a TikTok video in which she imitated her coworkers finding out she is not following COVID-19 guidelines outside of work. That video has since been deleted from TikTok, but has been re-upped in responses to it.
@amandabutcher2 To each their own, but why would you brag about it to others? 🤦🏻♀️ I guess we could ask Loveiskind05 ￼##nurse##covid##health##pandemic##fyp##foryou
♬ original sound - Amanda Butcher
Imitating some kind of scared screaming lady in a horror movie, Grames lip-synced her imitation of "When my coworkers find out I still travel, don't wear a mask when I am out and let my kids have play dates."
And yes. Yes. They probably would scream. Because she is putting people who are at risk even more at risk than they would be otherwise. Other nurses, doctors and patients. Possibly patients with compromised immune systems who might not survive if they get COVID-19. Who probably don't want to die just because Ashley Grames's kid needed to go on a "play date."
Right now, if someone you love goes to the hospital, you don't get to go with them, because the hospital has to keep everyone else safe. And as much as that really does suck — because obviously you don't want your loved one to be alone and scared and potentially at the mercy of a nightmare nurse like Ashley Grames — you have to go along with it because you don't want other people coming in who might not be as safe as you are about things potentially making everyone sick.
Grames clearly thought she was just too adorable and whimsical to suffer any consequences for her behavior, that perhaps no one who could affect her livelihood would even see her video and that it would remain some kind of secret among her idiot followers. She thought wrong. The video went viral and people were pissed.
Multiple community members took to the hospital's Facebook to write negative reviews.
One person wrote: "Ashley Grames should have her nursing license revoked for bragging about not wearing a mask or practicing social distancing while being an oncology nurse — exposing some of the most immunocompromised people is absolutely disgusting and embarrassing behavior for a medical professional."
"Who would ever go to a Hospital where their nurses don't understand basic public health protocols?" another reviewer wrote. "If your staff doesn't 'believe' in science how can you be a medical facility. Wonder how dirty this place is."
Salem Hospital addressed these concerns on Facebook after the video went viral, announcing Grames had been placed on administrative leave:
Yesterday, a nurse employed with Salem Health posted a video on social media which displayed cavalier disregard for the seriousness of this pandemic and her indifference towards physical distancing and masking outside of work. This video has prompted an outcry from concerned community members. We want to thank those of you who brought this to our attention and assure you that we are taking this very seriously. This individual does not speak for Salem Health and has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
We also want to assure you that this one careless statement does not reflect the position of Salem Health or the hardworking and dedicated caregivers who work here. Salem Health believes we all need to do our part to protect the vulnerable and stop the rapid spread of COVID-19. This includes requiring staff, patients and visitors to follow guidance from the CDC and others about mask wearing and social distancing. The COVID pandemic is serious and requires a serious response. And at Salem Health we are very serious about our approach to COVID.
Salem Hospital, by the way, has had 91 employees so far infected with COVID-19, the highest number of any hospital in the state and the fifth highest employee count of any workplace in the state — having been beat out by Amazon Troutdale and three state prisons. Perhaps Grames is not the only employee with such a cavalier attitude toward regulations.
Commenters on the post are not exactly satisfied with administrative leave and would much prefer to see her fired, which is fair given that she thinks it is adorable to put people's lives at risk. Of course, there are procedures that need to be followed in order for that to happen.
There are lessons to be learned here. For one, if it is your job to help sick people, it is also your job to not make them more sick. For another, we, unfortunately, cannot always expect medical professionals to not suck at their jobs (so unless you want to end up having the wrong leg amputated, check your bracelet and your chart yourself). And for still another, if you want to keep your job, you should probably not publicly announce how bad you are at it online. Because people can see that, and they will be mad and you will almost definitely not have that job anymore.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse