Nurse's TikTok Vid After Losing A Patient Sparks Debate Online

hands at a laptop with a stethoscope on the table next to it
Unsplash | National Cancer Institute

Doctors and nurses deal with life and death on a daily basis. No doubt, it's a difficult job.

But a TikTok video showing a nurse performatively grieving a patient who'd apparently just died seems to have crossed the line for many people. No one thinks that medical professionals shouldn't feel grief or stress — but posting a video of them going through these emotions, solely for social media clout, may be a bridge too far.

It can't be easy to lose a patient.

An empty hospital bed
Unsplash | National Cancer Institute

Only those who've worked in the medical field or in hospice care know firsthand what it's like, but it must be incredibly difficult to get to know patients, only to see them pass away — and then go through the whole process again the next day.

This video was a bit much.

Still of a TikTok video showing a nurse performatively grieving a patient
twitter | @ateenyalien

It was posted to TikTok by someone with the username @olivia_tylerr33 and has apparently been deleted from the platform. Fortunately for us, though, copies of the video still exist on Twitter, which allows us to dive into the situation.

The nurse seems stressed.

Still of a TikTok video showing a nurse performatively grieving a patient
twitter | @ateenyalien

The video shows the nurse occupying a whole hallway with her grief, along with the captions "lost a patient today" and "shake of [sic] off, you have 5 more hours."

To make the whole performance more absurd, the soundtrack for the video is "Unstoppable" by Sia.

The internet had a few thoughts.

Most users responded to the video with mockery. Anyone who's dealt with grief will likely tell you that they didn't want to be anywhere near a camera while they were feeling their feelings. Feeling grief, then deciding to make a TikTok of it, just feels like a strange choice.

It's a bit of a trend.

One Twitter user found a similar video and posted stills. The wording is almost identical to the video from @olivia_tylerr33 and appears to show a grieving nurse — this time in a car park rather than a hospital corridor.

Is it the same person?

In a follow-up tweet, it was acknowledged that the woman in the second video is different from the one in the first. Is this good (because it means @olivia_tylerr33 isn't making multiples of this absurd video) or bad (because this performative grief thing is catching on)?

The conversation circled back to TikTok.

Even though the original video came from TikTok, most of the chatter surrounding it has taken place on Twitter, since the original no longer exists on TikTok. That hasn't stopped some TikTokers from making their own reaction videos to weigh in on the controversy.

Those in the know think she's overdoing it.

This tweet is illuminating for a few reasons. First, it acknowledges how difficult the job can be (can you imagine dealing with a traumatic death an hour after you started your shift?). It also points out that the job is hard, but it isn't so hard that nurses need to upload videos of their grief for social media clout.

It's important to recognize how difficult the job is.

This tweet reminds us that, even if we're going to mock the histrionics shown in the video, it's important to recognize the stressors that a job like nursing can place on a person.

Finally, someone acknowledges the typo.

The 'shake of off' caption is the first thing I noticed in the original video. Maybe I'm just pedantic, but it's important to me that doctors and nurses are precise and exact. I don't want to be treated by a nurse who can't spell and posts Sia-soundtracked grief videos on TikTok.

No one should post these videos.

This user hits the nail right on the head: assuming a patient did actually die, it's gross of this nurse to capitalize on their death like this.

Let us know what you think of this video, and the conversation surrounding it, in the comments!