Can We Talk About the Influx of Nurses Shaming People on TikTok

Open TikTok, and you’ll find videos that take place in a car, a dorm room, a classroom, or even a driveway depending on the latest trend circulating around the app. Quite rarely would you expect the latest TikTok trend to take place in a hospital or a clinic. Recently, there have been a startling amount of videos where physicians are making fun of patients and their complicated health-related situations. What’s concerning about this new wave of videos is that they're going viral after making both polarizing and problematic statements. In a profession that is expected to remain impartial and unbiased while serving the public, the TikTok community has found numerous instances of irresponsible conduct surfacing.  

"The best way to prevent STDs is waiting for sex until marriage. Just the truth." Nashville-based Nurse Holly uploaded a brief video with this statement and amassed over seven million views before it was deleted. After receiving a large amount of backlash, her TikTok and YouTube profiles were also taken down. Nurse Holly continued to defend her video in a statement to Business Insider, saying, "This video was simply created with the intention of helping little girls see that saving sex for one partner may have certain benefits. I do truly apologize for any offense that was taken, as I only wish to promote positivity and healthy lifestyles." 

While Holly claims that her video was posted with the intent of sincerity, it suggested that STDs are a punishment for sexual behavior, an ideology that stems from a very conservative outlook on sex. But Holly's statement is subjective, and despite her license as a nurse, her video doesn’t automatically resound as a difinitive truth. Although abstinence and celibacy have been recognized as a way to prevent STDs and STIs, this discredits other methods of safe sex. And Tiktok is certainly not the appropriate place for a medical professional to have that conversation.

After the video went viral across TikTok, many used the opportunity to mention personal experiences of being disrespect by health care professionals.

TikTok is generally known for being a source of entertainment, and its often lighthearted and satirical content. But when mixed in with serious medical and social issues, it's not a harmonious blend. Too, TikToks are frequently accompanied by music and dancing, which can trivialize the severity of some of the issues being discussed. Although becoming verified on any social media platform is a pinnacle we all hope to reach, it’d be worth looking into if a TikTok user's professional statuses can be verified, especially in fields that offer medical advice.