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"Insensitive" Post Costs Nurse Her Job

Photo shows trauma room where man hit by train was treated.

Published: July 9, 2014

The social media minefield isn't limited to distracted doctoring, as a nurse — and reality show cast member — at New York Presbyterian Hospital has discovered. She was fired after posting a photo of an empty trauma room to Instagram.

Katie Duke, RN, who was featured on the ABC News program "NY Med," is seen during a recent episode, tearfully explaining, "I'm walking away from the hospital now because I have to leave the premises. I just got fired."

Her posted photo was of a disheveled room that had just been used to treat a man hit by a subway train. She captioned it "#Man vs 6 train." She told ABC News that she was fired for being insensitive, not for violating hospital policy or any HIPAA provisions.

The photo, she said, was taken by a doctor, who was not reprimanded. While maintaining that she did nothing wrong, Ms. Duke did acknowledge that the post might upset someone unfamiliar with life in the emergency room. "The way we talk about injuries, life and death, you might get the wrong impression, but it's just a coping mechanism," she said. "Now I check my posts so no one gets offended or thinks I am a cold-hearted person."

Ms. Duke did not respond to requests for comment by Outpatient Surgery Magazine. New York-Presbyterian Hospital says it does not discuss individual employee matters. It also says that "NYMed provides snapshots of experiences at NYP. It would be impossible to convey every aspect of every situation in one-hour of television."

Jim Burger

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