Sunday, January 02, 2011

Post Photo of Placenta on Facebook, Get Expelled from Nursing School

What do you think about the action of these nursing students?

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Four students who posed for photos with a human placenta have been kicked out of a suburban Kansas City nursing program after one of the pictures was posted on Facebook.

One of the students, Doyle Byrnes, has filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Kansas seeking to force Johnson County Community College to reinstate her before classes resume Jan. 19.

The Kansas City Star reported that Byrnes and several other students were attending a lab course at Olathe Medical Center in November when one of them asked a nursing instructor for permission to photograph the placenta so they could share the experience on Facebook.

The lawsuit against the college and several of its employees said that the nursing instructor responded, "Oh, you girls," but didn't tell them not to do it or that it could result in discipline.

Afterward, Byrnes posted a photo on the social networking site showing her smiling broadly, wearing a lab coat and surgical gloves and leaning over the placenta in a tray. Nothing in the photos identified the woman from whom the placenta came.

The photo was on Facebook for about three hours until the nursing instructor called Byrnes and told her to remove it. Byrnes asked if she was in trouble and the instructor replied she was not, the lawsuit says. Byrnes removed the photo immediately and has since closed her Facebook account.

Byrnes and the other three students who posed with the placenta were expelled the next day. The lawsuit didn't fully identify the other students.

Jeanne Walsh, director of nursing at the college, criticized Byrnes in a letter that was included as an exhibit with the complaint.

"Your demeanor and lack of professional behavior surrounding this event was considered a disruption to the learning environment," the letter said.



At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it was an appropriate punishment IF it was clearly laid out that it was not acceptable. Surely someone, at some point in their schooling at JCCC mentioned to them that it is not ok to post pictures from lab/clinical sites.

As nurses and nursing students, we should be held to higher standards. If we're acting like kids, goofing around and playing facebook instead of learning, then maybe we shouldn't be there in the first place.

I recently graduated from a nursing school in the same area as this story, and it was explicitly explained to us that we represented our school, our profession, and our future jobs whenever we posted on fb or similar sites. They made sure we knew that they would not tolerate that kind of behaviour.

-RNmon (formerly lpnmon)

At 10:25 PM, Blogger ema said...


I agree, appropriate punishment IF certain conditions met.

What stood out for me was the fact that a student in her senior year was unclear on confidentiality and path specimens. Also, if accurate, the instructor's actions.

At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing is, this time of year, she would only have been in her third semester at JCCC. And may not have had that many opportunities to be around path specimens. So yeah, she was a senior in the sense that she was in the last year, but only a sophomore if you look at it as years attended.

I don't know what class size is like over there, but my senior class had 63 people in it. Unless it was clearly and repeatedly stated, it was easy to miss things. And clinical instructors were not always clear on what was going on at the school proper.



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