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Shutterstock | Youtube.com/CBS Miami
Shutterstock | Youtube.com/CBS Miami

Florida Nurse Fired for Mocking Newborn's Birth Defect with a Photo on Her Social Networks

Bettina Dizon
Oct 09, 2021
10:20 A.M.

After weeks of investigation, nurse Sierra Samuels was fired from Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital for posting a newborn's congenital disability on social media.

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Most service businesses have confidentiality policies to protect their clients, including hospitals such as Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, USA.

So when nurse Sierra Samuels violated the privacy rules, she was placed under investigation, and her employment with the hospital was terminated.

Sierra Samuels, a nurse at Jackson Memorial Hospital, was fired for breaching patient privacy. | Source: Shutterstock | Youtube.com/CBS Miami

Sierra Samuels, a nurse at Jackson Memorial Hospital, was fired for breaching patient privacy. | Source: Shutterstock | Youtube.com/CBS Miami

Samuels, a neonatal intensive care unit nurse (NICU), mocked an infant with a congenital disability on social media and posted photos of the newborn on her platform. One of her posts, as reported by WSVN, read:

"Your intestines posed [sic] to be inside not outside baby! #Gastroschisis."

In another post, she wrote: "My night was going great then boom!" alongside another photo of the newborn child.

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Screenshot of Sierra Samuels' post on Instagram. | Source: Youtube/CBSMiami

Screenshot of Sierra Samuels' post on Instagram. | Source: Youtube/CBSMiami

The infant, born with gastroschisis, had its intestines outside the body due to the birth defect. Such a condition allows the intestines to leave the body through a hole near the belly button.

It turned out Samuels often shared photos from work on Instagram.

Despite being assigned to the NICU, Samuels did not have the right to snap a photo of the baby and post it on social media. Once the hospital learned of what happened, disciplinary measures were taken.

Screenshot of Sierra Samuels' post on Instagram. | Source: Youtube/CBSMiami

Screenshot of Sierra Samuels' post on Instagram. | Source: Youtube/CBSMiami

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When the hospital found out about the posts, they immediately took action and placed Samuels "under administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation," the hospital said in a statement.

In addition, Jackson Memorial Hospital claimed that the privacy of their patients is a priority and a matter they take seriously such that employees undergo regular training regarding the policy.

Posting unauthorized pictures of patients is also against the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), a law that protects patients' data.

On September 30, 2021, after being with the hospital for around five years, Samuels was terminated from her job. It turned out Samuels often shared photos from work on Instagram.

While the infant's family's experience with Samuels was disappointing, not all nurses are the same. In fact, some medical professionals make the news for touching reasons, such as the story of Bristol Children's Hospital nurses.

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Recently, the internet reconnected Maggie, a cancer survivor, and her nurses at Bristol Children's Hospital from 17 years ago.

Magie's father shared a proud photo of her on Twitter that went viral, revealing that she had leukemia as a toddler. As thousands of people retweeted the post, it ended up reaching the nurses who once cared for Maggie.

Nurse Charlotte replied to the tweet and claimed she remembered Maggie as the little girl under their care. Another medical staff, James Cargill, was excited to learn about Maggie's growth through the years.

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