Naval Corpsmen make obscene gestures at newborns, calling them 'Mini satans'
A photo shows Naval Healthcare workers making an obscene gesture at a baby, And these are Naval officers in making!
Something happened yesterday that makes me cringe. Being a doctor, I place my highest regards towards a patients dignity, irrespective of the age. And I believe that newborns are the most innocent beings. There is literally nothing they can do to deserve what these newborns experienced at the hands of two women, initially thought to be nurses at the Naval Hospital, Florida, USA.
According to a report, the two women posted an obscene video and a photo on Snapchat. The video shows one of them making a baby dance to a vulgar song by 50 cents, while in the photo, another is seen 'showing the middle finger' to a baby wrapped in the blanket. The caption of the photo is, "How I currently feel about these mini Satans".
Statement by the hospital
Many newspapers reported them to be nurses. However, as per the media release by the hospital, they are corpsmen, enlisted members belonging to the medical unit. They have been since taken off active duty. They will face civil and military prosecution. The parents of the patients have been notified.
There is no justification for this behaviour
Healthcare workers are under a lot of pressure. The patients are demanding, the relatives irritating. Everyone wants to be treated like a VIP. The worst thing is, many times, the patients don't follow orders, but complain when they do not get well. Everyone wants a quick fix.
That said, it is the duty of a healthcare worker to ensure that the dignity of a patient is preserved. And that is why they leave the room when you change, even when they know that they might be giving you a sponge bath if you are admitted to the hospital. While academic qualifications and fitness are assessed before a person becomes a healthcare worker, empathy is rarely assessed.
However, I am sure that nurses from Singapore would never do something like this. And I speak from my own experience as a relative of a patient. My son was delivered at NUS. It is one of the best hospitals in the west, but what impressed me was the passion of the staff for providing quality healthcare to everyone.
My experience with Singaporean Nurses
Nurses and staff of Ward 9A deserve a special mention! My kid was delivered there, and my wife was admitted to that ward. She was there for three days. In that duration, I interacted with nurses across ages and ethnicities. Once, on day 2, my son started crying inconsolably at 3 am. We tried everything. As this is our first baby, we were at loss about what was to be done. Reluctantly, we pressed the button requesting assistance.
And as he started crying, he suddenly stopped. By the time the nurse came, he was cooing like an adorable baby! The nurse arrived. She was tired from the long day. Maybe she was just resting her head on the table when we called her. Any other nurse would have gone back, seeing that the baby and the mother were fine. But not this one.
She gave a checklist for us to mentally go through whenever the baby cries! Is the baby hungry? What about the diaper - does it needs a change? Stuff like that. And I was so impressed. She adorably named by baby 'a little firecracker', something we still call him.
What makes these nurses so special?
After discharge, we took him to the hospital for all his paediatric visits. And everywhere we went, we just met nice people! These were from everywhere - Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Myanmar, India. But I believe that the value placed on human life and dignity in Singapore is much higher than anywhere else. And these kind souls were attracted to this place due to this.
I hope these corpsmen derive some inspiration from the amazing nursing staff of Singapore.