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Nurse Fired For Social Media Mishap

Nurse's Instagram post faux-pas highlights the potential slip ups for using social media at work


An Emergency Room nurse from New York Presbyterian has been fired after she posted a hospital snap on her Instagram profile. The photo in question was one that was taken of a messy (but empty) trauma room in the hospital; a room which had been used earlier to treat a man that was hit by a NYC subway train. The nurse put the snap up alongside the caption '#man vs 6 train.'

While the nurse, Katie Duke, may have wanted to show the harsh realities of life working in the Emergency Room, she was sacked the very same day as the image was posted. She said "I got a call at the end of my shift telling me I was being let go after seven years in the ER."


Although she was told by her supervisor that she had not breached any hospital policies or violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the reason behind her sacking was due to the image being seen as 'insensitive.'

In a twist to events, despite the photo being on her profile, Duke denied that the photo was hers, saying that it was in fact a picture she had reposted from the profile of a doctor who works at the same hospital. However, despite the speculation, the doctor was not reprimanded.

This is the not the first time a medical professional has landed themselves in trouble thanks to their untimely or slightly controversial social media activities. Last year, a doctor who complained over Facebook about a patient's lateness was subsequently hit with hundreds of complaints and comments from the online community.



Nancy Spector, director of regulatory innovations for the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, said 'Because nurses are often on the front line of medical care, they need to be extra careful with what they post on social media...remember nothing can really be deleted."

The hospital from were Katie Duke was sacked is featured on the ABC hospital documentary, 'NYMed'. When asked for their response to the incident, a spokesperson from the hospital said that it does not discuss individual employee matters and added that the ABC show documenting them only provides 'snapshots of experiences at NYP and therefore it would be impossible to convey every aspect of every situation in one hour of television.'

While the circumstances of the incident are still in question (ie: who's photo it really was) one thing is very clear from this and that is to be careful what and especially where, you decide to update your social media profiles. Some companies are strict on social media outside work for their own interests and privacy.

There is a very fine line now with social media and what is deemed acceptable and indeed lawful, but surely- whether there was good intent or not- a hospital isn't the best of places to be snapping your surroundings!


Hi my name is Julie! Fresh out of university studying journalism, I love to have a good laugh and I believe in always keeping an open mind. In my spare time, if you don't catch me between two pages of a book, you'll most likely find me in front of the computer or the TV! I also like to make cakes if I have the time (and the ingredients!)... or as my friends like to call them, Bundy Buns. Make sure you follow me @JulieAtSMF.

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Nurse Fired For Social Media Mishap Reviewed by Anonymous on Wednesday, July 09, 2014 Rating: 5
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