A nurse who was suspended for posting TikTok videos about supposedly mistreating her patients has claimed that they were just jokes.
Kelly Morris worked at the nursing facility The Citadel in Winston-Salem in central North Carolina. She posted multiple videos on her TikTok account, which appears to have since been removed. She went under the name “bubblegumkelz” and posted videos of herself making what she has said were jokes.
Ms Morris appeared to have made another account on Sunday, claiming in her first video on her new account that “trolls” got her “banned”.
The videos on her previous account included jokes about unplugging a patient’s ventilator to charge her phone and giving patients extra sleeping pills in order to not have to deal with them.
Ms Morris created a GoFundMe following her suspension, hoping to crowdfund money lost because of her suspension.
“TikTok got me fired, so feed my kids,” the GoFundMe page says. As of Tuesday afternoon, it has raised $60.
Declining to take part in an interview with a local TV station after speaking to a lawyer, Ms Morris issued a statement: “The only thing hurt in my TikTok videos were people’s feelings. All my videos are comedy skits. I can understand how someone can be upset but not to the degree they are taking it. No one was ever harmed and I treat all my patients with great care and they all love me.”
The nursing facility’s parent company, Accordius Health, also chose not to give an interview to WXII 12 News, issuing a statement as well.
“The Citadel at Winston Salem was made aware of TikTok videos by an employee last week,” the company said. “Our team investigated content and acted immediately. Misuse and unprofessional use of social media platforms by employees violates our core values and is not tolerated. Any form of resident abuse is never tolerated. Be assured we have handled the situation and reported her actions to all appropriate state and federal agencies.”
“We love our residents; provide for and protect them every day. We are grateful for the global healthcare team that protects the elderly with pride in our profession,” they added.
Ms Morris said she thinks she has been a victim of “cancel culture” – targeted by people who don’t have a sense of humour.