NY Post: Covid nurse suspended for wearing little beneath clear gown
Post pieces reported that a Russian nurse had been suspended for wearing only her underwear, or maybe it was a swimsuit, under her transparent protective gown, because the PPE was “too hot.” Of course, this was a gift to media entities like the Post, which offered leering commentary like “this naughty nurse is going viral.” However, the coverage also showed the burdens placed on nurses caring for Covid patients.
May 22, 2020 – Recently the New York Post ran items gleefully reporting that a nurse caring for Covid patients in Russia had been suspended for apparently wearing only her underwear beneath her transparent vinyl protective gown. The nurse reportedly did tell managers at Tula Regional Clinical Hospital that the personal protective equipment (PPE) was too hot for her to wear more under it. The headline of Hannah Sparks’s May 20 item says a lot: “‘Hot’ nurse disciplined for wearing bra and panties under see-through PPE gown” Evidently, there was some doubt about whether it was actually underwear or a swimming suit, but the Post helpfully provided a photo, so readers could decide for themselves. By contrast, there’s no doubt about the fun being had by the Post, as well as its English-language source, the Sun, and some hard-rock radio stations that picked up the story. The first Post item leads with the observation that “this naughty nurse is going viral.” We also learn that there were “no complaints” about the nurse on the all-male Covid ward. Meanwhile, readers of the originating newspaper, the Tula Pressa, were supportive of the nurse, suggesting that she had “raised the mood” of the patients and made them want to live. Today, the Post had a follow-up item by Kenneth Garger noting that the nurse, now identified as a 23-year-old named Nadia, had received additional support. A politician from the United Russia party objected to the nurse suffering any penalty, and a physician from the Doctors’ Alliance was concerned about the PPE itself, which she said did not look adequate. As we have said once or twice before, the naughty nurse image is not helpful. It associates the profession of nursing with female sexuality, undermining nurses’ claims to respect and resources, like PPE. The media bears responsibility for that image, as do members of society who offer casual comments of support for nurses without clothes. Unfortunately, here we seem to have an actual nurse giving them an excuse for such imagery, although doing so in a relatively unprovocative way, in head-to-toe PPE on a Covid ward. Also, unlike most naughty nurse images, this one does point to serious issues in the clinical setting—how burdensome PPE is to wear, and whether available PPE is adequate to protect nurses. Of course, that all assumes that this reporting is basically true and accurate, and not some staged media product simply designed to attract eyeballs, or even an “active measures”-style disinformation vehicle created to distract from governmental mishandling of the Covid crisis. In any case, our hope is to see less media about naughty nurses, and more about nurses saving lives with adequate PPE. Sign our petition demanding more PPE. Thank you!
See Hannah Sparks’s article ‘Hot’ nurse disciplined for wearing bra and panties under see-through PPE gown, posted on The New York Post‘s website on May 20, 2020.
Also see Kenneth Garger’s followup item “‘Hot’ nurse gets support after suspension for exposing bra and panties,” posted on May 22, 2020, on the New York Post website.
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