Nurse Fired for Posting Trauma Room Pic

‘NY Med’ star stunned by dismissal

The worlds of nursing, television, and social media collided for nurse Katie Duke last year. Her nursing job did not survive the crash.

Duke was an emergency room nurse at New York Presbyterian Hospital and a featured character on the hospital documentary series NY Med on ABC when she was fired by the hospital for posting a picture to Instagram that the hospital deemed “insensitive,” according to

The picture was taken by one of Duke’s colleagues and showed an empty trauma room where a patient had been treated after getting hit by a subway train. Duke took a screenshot of the photo and posted it to her Instagram account along with the caption, “Man Vs 6 Train … The After. #lifesaving #EMS #NYC #ER #Doctors #nymed #trauma #realLife.”

Duke’s firing, which took place last year, was captured by the cameras and broadcast on NY Med’s second season premiere on June 26. Duke says that she made sure the photo did not violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which protects patients’ privacy, or the hospital’s social media policy before she posted the picture. But that did not prevent her firing.

“It was a complete shock when they told me we’re firing you over this,” Duke, who had worked at the hospital for seven years, told the Daily News. “At the end of the day I would have preferred a strong talking-to.”

True to form, Duke’s firing and subsequent career struggles were dutifully filmed by NY Med, which called her story “very humanizing.”

Duke’s advice for others in the medical community regarding social media: Don’t violate patient privacy, don’t say anything negative about your workplace, and think before you post something that could be deemed offensive.

NY Med is currently the most-watched show in its Thursday night time slot.

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