Two staffers at a naval hospital in Jacksonville, Florida have been removed from their positions and placed under investigation after sending disturbing photos on social media of them mistreating newborn babies.
Allyson Thompson, 21, and Joanie Barrett, 23, were working as corpsmen at Naval Hospital Jacksonville when they sent inappropriate Snapchat videos and photos of them making rude gestures toward the infants, referring to them as “mini Satans,” according to WJXT.
One of the photos showed one of the young women flipping the bird over a sleeping baby, while a video showed Thompson grinning while holding a baby up by its arms and making it “dance” to crude rap music.
The documents were shared by a woman who identified the employee as a “navy nurse,” according to WTLV.
The employees were not actually registered nurses, but hospital corpsmen — the equivalent of civilian certified nurses assistants, the Naval Hospital told WJXT. They were not licensed and were supposed to be under the supervision of doctors and nurses.
Sean Cronin, a Jacksonville-area attorney with experience in medical malpractice suits, said the women could face dishonorable discharge from the military and possible criminal charges. Their supervisors could also face punishment.
In response to the outrageous incident, the hospital released a statement, explaining that the staff members involved have been “removed from patient care” and will be “handled by the legal system and military justice.”
“It’s outrageous, unacceptable, incredibly unprofessional, and cannot be tolerated,” the hospital said about the employees’ actions.
Navy Surgeon Gen. Vice Adm. Forrest Faison said in another statement that he has ordered commanding officers to make sure no photos of patients remain on social media, and to personally reassure all mothers planning to deliver at Navy facilities.
Employees have also been prohibited from using personal cellphones at patient-care areas.
“Unprofessional and inappropriate social media behavior is inconsistent with both our core values of honor, courage and commitment as well as our medical ethics, violating the oaths we took for our profession and office,” Faison said.
Anyone entrusted with the care of children should know better than to mistreat them in this particularly vulgar way, but the fact that these are newborn babies of our nation’s heroes makes it so much worse.
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