'Devil Nurse' helps keep things in perspective

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Gary Tetz
Gary Tetz

Are you having a bad day? Maybe some nagging personnel problems? Or perhaps you're concerned about how the poor judgment of one employee could reflect negatively on the reputation of your facility in the community?

If so, take a deep breath and slowly repeat to yourself, “At least the nursing home employee who posed with dead residents and then posted the pictures on Facebook doesn't work for me.”

Feel better? A little perspective can be a wonderful thing.

It happened in Switzerland, which apparently went quickly downhill soon after the von Trapp family arrived. The selfie-loving “Devil Nurse,” as local media have nicknamed her, apparently made a habit of this indefensible and disturbing behavior, posting one of the photos along with the comment, “Guess if she is asleep or dead” and “I'll give you a hint, I'm the soul robber.”

An appropriately disapproving Swiss court fined her more than $1,300 for a breach of trust and “violating the peace of the dead,” a statute that up until now I believed only applied to the use of John Lennon songs in sneaker commercials. The facility, located in the town of Mogelsberg, had presciently closed prior to her postings.

According to the Daily Mirror, though the Swiss Association of Nurses was “shocked and upset,” Devil Nurse herself didn't understand what the fuss was all about. She called them “beautiful pictures” and posted, “Death is normal people die all the time!" 

One final point. In responding to criticism of her actions, she stated, "I can put anything I want in my Facebook," a belief simply not substantiated by current employment law. So tempting as it might be to bring Devil Nurse to your facility to share her social media expertise, you should probably consider other options.

Some of these people might be available.

Things I Think is written by Gary Tetz, who cobbles these pieces together from his secret lair somewhere near the scenic, wine-soaked hamlet of Walla Walla, WA. Since his debut with SNALF.com at the end of a previous century, he has continued to amuse, inform and sometimes befuddle long-term care readers worldwide.

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