A hospital in Salem, Ore., announced over the weekend that it has suspended an oncology nurse after she posted a TikTok video that “displayed cavalier disregard for the seriousness of this pandemic and her indifference towards physical distancing and masking outside of work.”
Salem Health said that it had placed the nurse on administrative leave pending an investigation. A spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that the nurse’s name was Ashley Grames and that she worked in the oncology department.
“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,” Salem Health said in a statement, adding that “one careless statement” does not reflect the position of the hospital or the “hardworking and dedicated caregivers who work here.”
Yesterday, a nurse employed with Salem Health posted a video on social media which displayed cavalier disregard for the…
Posted by Salem Health on Saturday, November 28, 2020
The viral TikTok video from user @Loveiskind05 showed a woman in scrubs and a stethoscope. She mouthed audio from a scene in the live-action version of Dr. Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” movie in which Cindy Lou Who learns who the Grinch is.
“When my co-workers find out I still travel, don’t wear a mask when I’m out and let my kids have play dates,” the caption read.
The video quickly triggered fierce backlash from health care providers and others who condemned Grames for appearing to mock guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aimed at stemming the spread of COVID-19.
The original clip has since been deleted but not before other TikTok users shared it.
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
More than 1,100 people commented on Salem Health’s post, with hundreds calling for the nurse to be fired and her license to be revoked.
“Administrative leave? For knowingly exposing immunocompromised patients to Covid and then bragging about it? I’m an RN and I’m so disappointed in this response,” one commenter wrote. “No investigation needed. The video supplied should be evidence enough. She needs to be FIRED. Not on PAID leave.”
“As someone fighting cancer, I can only imagine how her patients feel after seeing this news,” another commenter added. “Their opinion on your hospital and nurses in general are now ruined due to this woman’s actions. And even though you say that her views do not represent your hospital, you still employed her. You need to take responsibility by firing her, not putting her on paid leave.”
Marion County has had some of the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Oregon, with 969 new cases reported last week. Salem Hospital has the highest employee-related count of any hospital in Oregon, according to data released by the state last week.