Nurse labelled 'attention seeker' after viral dramatic TikTok video reacting to patient's death

  • 18/07/2022
The nurse, called Olivia, was labelled an "attention seeker" after posting a video on TikTok.
The nurse, called Olivia, was labelled an "attention seeker" after posting a video on TikTok. Photo credit: Twitter/ateenyalien

Backlash has erupted on social media after a nurse shared a video reacting to the death of one of her patients.

The nurse, called Olivia, was labelled an "attention seeker" after posting a video captioned, "It never gets easier". 

The video showed her holding her hands to her forehead and leaning against a hospital wall, removing her mask to show her bright red face, appearing as though she may have been crying. The video also features text reading: "Lost a patient today. Shake of off, you have 5 more hours [sic]." The song 'Unstoppable' by Sia is playing in the background.

The widely criticised video, which has since been removed, is now being circulated widely on Twitter, gaining almost 15 million views.

While the video did not appear to cross any ethical lines, many people have labelled the clip as "attention seeking" and "cringe".

"If this were about someone I loved, I'd be livid. Oh, YOUR day sucked?" one person commented.

"Great way to exploit the dead for one's own popularity," another wrote.

"This was a spectacle. Her patient died and she decided to set up her phone and hit record for attention," a third added.

However, some viewers in the medical community said the backlash Olivia has been subjected to has gone too far.

Associate professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, Dominic Sisti, told NBC News while the video was "ill-advised" and "attention-seeking", many people fail to understand the trauma nurses endure day-to-day.

"On the other hand, it is the case that the general public really doesn't grasp the unbelievable trauma that health care workers have experienced in the last three years," Prof Sisti said.

The woman isn't the only nurse to upload footage of their day-to-day life in the field, with many adopting the platform as an outlet to deal with the struggles they experience at work and commiserate with others in the profession. 

'Nursefluencers' are common on TikTok, with hashtags such as #NursesOfTikTok receiving billions of views on the video-sharing platform.

Many nurses have made similar TikToks about dealing with the loss of patients, as well as documenting their day-to-day duties in the role or what can happen on shift.

Meg Harrell, a registered nurse who runs the TikTok account @nursemegrn, told the outlet that  TikTok provides a platform for nurses to build a community and bond over shared experiences.

"It's like our break room has expanded into the whole world. It's so fantastic."