ER Nurse's "Funky Flu" Video Goes Viral
Katherine Lochler, an ER nurse in Florida posted a video on Facebook with her "After Work Thoughts". The video which has gone viral has created some controversy. What are your thoughts??
We've all had these moments after working a particularly insane shift. We have to vent. Your brain is still reeling, you are exhausted yet still in overdrive. Sometimes it's related to coworkers or employer issues, but many times it relates to our patients. Let's face it, healthcare is a combination of the science of medicine, the art of nurturing, the business of hospitality and service and the skills of retail and education. We deal with people at their worst. They are sick, scared, frustrated, angry for either themselves or a family member or friend. We get the brunt of it all. Somedays frustrated doesn't even come close to explain how we feel, especially when the illness or injury that brought them to be under our care is preventable. We just want to say, "what on earth are you thinking?" and "Let me tell you something right now....!"
Katherine Lockler, an Emergency room nurse from Milton Florida did just that via social media. Dubbed the The "funky flu" video, Katherine went to Facebook with a bit of advice for people on how to avoid the flu and how to protect yourself and others. Her video titled "After Work Thoughts", quickly went "viral" with over 4 million views at the time this article was written. In her post, Katherine is direct, matter of fact, sarcastic and very honest about what she is seeing as an ER nurse during this flu season. The video provides helpful tips on how to avoid the flu this season, as well as how to properly protect yourself and others in a funny and dramatic way, such as how to properly sneeze and cover. She also provides some insight into what an ER nurses shift looks like during this flu season by discussing Emergency Room wait times, asking people to understand and trust that the person seen before you is more sick than you are. She goes on the talk candidly about the anger, cursing and frustration given by patients to the nurse, explaining that wait times are due to several factors that one can not see beyond the lobby. Most of the reactions from viewers has been positive especially from fellow nurses and medical personnel, but as with anything posted on social media, Katherine's video has had some negative feedback. Several have expressed their offense to her "sarcastic tone" and demeanor and according to several media sites, Katherine has allegedly been turned in to the Board of Nursing.
While we can't know for sure of the facts surrounding the alleged report, an online petition, showing support for Katherine, has been formed to be submitted to the Board of Nursing. The petition reads: "Katherine Smith Locklear is an ER Nurse. She posted an AMAZING video on Facebook regarding the flu and how it is spread along with great tips on home treatment. For her time and effort, she is being reported to the Board of Registered Nursing and her hospital."
Nurse calls hospital ER ‘cesspool of funky flu’
This presents several hot-topics for thought and discussion. What did Katherine do or say that presents a valid complaint to the Board of Nursing? Does a nurse have the right to vent about her job, shift, or patient experience on social media if the names and exact details are left out? What about after your shift ends and you meet coworkers for dinner and vent out loud without disclosing names? Does this border on HIPAA violations? Does the hospital or Board of Nursing have the right to penalize this or any nurse who sends a strong message via social media? Is what you do on your time your business or does Katherine's video reflect upon her employer?
Does her "tone" work to educate the public here, or did it hurt? Katherine responded in an interview with TCPalm stating: "I think there's a little bit of sarcasm in my voice because the instructions were given so many times and they were not received well," Lockler told TCPalm. "I tend to be sarcastic in all my speaking, but if it's taken wrong, I would definitely apologize to that group that misheard my message because of my tone. The message is still right on the money, but if the tone was offensive, that was not the intention."
I, like many others, caught this video on my facebook feed and watched from beginning to end. Of note, I rarely watch any video on social media in its entirety. Her manner of speaking, the tone, the subject matter and the stone cold truth about life as a nurse during one of the worst flu seasons in the past decade, had my attention. I found myself waiting to hear what else she would say. She did provide a public service regarding flu prevention and care, but I will say that the whole time I watched, I asked myself several of the above listed questions. I wondered how this would be received.
No matter your thoughts, Katherine Lochler has sparked media attention including such national sites as FoxNews and hit instant stardom with her video rant regarding "the cesspool of funky flu in the ER". I would love to hear thoughts on this healthcare/ social media topic. How many of us know if our hospital or State Board of Nursing has policies on such matters? Did she go too far or is Katherine the "Hero nurse" that several followers have dubbed her as she speaks up and supports nurses and healthcare workers?
Last edit by Joe V on Jun 14
About smatacale, BSN, RN
My name is Sarah Matacale RN, BSN, CCS and CDI. I love writing on the hot topics out there in the world of medicine and really love to hear your thoughts!
Joined: Jan '17; Posts: 43; Likes: 324Feb 5I totally agree with her but it is NOT wise to post anything job related in healthcare right now. Patients don't want to hear the truth, they like denial. I don't think she should have been turned into the BON but I'm not at all surprised.Feb 5The truth shall set you free...or as Judge Judy says you do not have to have a good memory to be able to tell the truth. It is in my patients best interest to be truthful and I can do this with a little softness that is inside me. I do not care if my patient wants me to lie to them I will not because it is falsifying information. If my patient does not want to know then they unusually decide what family member wants the information. I think people have a right to know what they are going to be exposed to in a hospital, in the grocery store, in the movie theater..., heck this is a movement whose time has come.Feb 5My thoughts are...she looks way too put together for this to be "after work thoughts" after an insane shift in the ER.Feb 5Quote from kloneAgreed.My thoughts are...she looks way too put together for this to be "after work thoughts" after an insane shift in the ER.Feb 5Body language and/or tone-of-voice sarcasm is so rarely becoming.
That said, I couldn't help but smile a few times.Feb 5When I first saw it I found it amusing, but wondered whether because she gave prescribing information without doing an individualized detailed assessment, did she overstep her scope even though it was only over the counter medications that she discussed? I think that might depend upon the individual BON for the state, but that's the only thing I think it really potentially a problem. Other than that, it's a social media post- some people will like the tone and some people won't. These days I think posting anything about any job on a social media post is potentially trouble. I truly hope nothing bad comes of it for her, she seems like it was really meant in the best interest of people in addition to just blowing off a little steam.Feb 5Other than recommending changes in medication dosage, I loved this! Especially about the patients in waiting: your stubbed toe is going to be trumped by an MI every day of the week. And additional, true emergencies will continue to trump you as long as any come in. Yes, you need to cover your cough, wash or sanitize your hands. I learned this in grade school, how come we have to keep reminding you? I don't think this should go to the BON, but then I have always said the board is not for our assistance or protection. It is to protect the public from us. We need to start being less subtle. Too many people don't get it unless it's right in their faces!Feb 5I found her obnoxious ...pretty much everything she said along with the fact that she felt self-important enough to make a video of herself saying it.Feb 5I think what bothered me most about it was the nonchalant handing out of advice regarding OTC medications. There is a big difference between a big guy who is in his 20s and a big guy who is 70 years old and maybe his organs are not functioning like they used to. I also think many people do not understand that a lot of the combination OTC meds out there already contain acetaminophen or ibuprofen, and they could easily overdo it if they combine these things.
Overall, I think in her effort to be cute and get attention, she has lost sight of the fact that so many people put their faith in doctors & nurses, and will often take their advice at face value without doing any research or critical thinking themselves. Even as a student in clinicals, I see that we have to choose our words carefully so as not to steer someone in the wrong direction.
Not to mention the fact that our fever serves a purpose, and really only needs to be heavily medicated like this under certain circumstances. I think issuing a blanket statement like this to the world has done a disservice. OTC pain meds will mask symptoms & make people feel they can go out into the world and do all of the things they normally do, when they should be home in bed and not out spreading their germs around.Feb 5I'm genuinely curious. She described a softball team member coming in to her ER & then the whole team came in to see this teammate. Does this provide too much detail about an individual patient?
I'm a novice student & am curious what professional nurses think. I myself don't know if that would be considered too much detail. Assuming she actually was describing a real patient, can she get in trouble?Last edit by MiladyMalarkey on Feb 5Feb 6I wouldn't think so at all. I loved the 'softball team' part. She didn't mention any names. I loved the video. I found her refreshing and real, not sarcastic. She's probably saved lives already and will continue to do so with her 'viral' video. Kudos to "Viral Nurse Katherine"!
Wonder if she's on AN?Feb 6I found this is hysterical. I'm thinking management at her hospital will probably won't. This is why you shouldn't post to social media when you are impaired (tired in this case), or if you do use a meme or some sort of disguise, like the also hysterical Darth Vader in the ER clips.
Must Read Topics