http://www.therecord.com/news/local/art ... ency-staff
• Johanna Weidner, Record staff
• Fri Mar 30 2012 Hospitals investigate ‘inappropriate’ video by emergency staff
KITCHENER — Kitchener’s two hospitals are investigating a video made by local emergency department staff that parodies patients and was filmed in Grand River Hospital without permission.
“It did not happen with hospital knowledge and we’re very concerned about it,” said Grand River spokesperson Mark Karjaluoto. “It just clearly does not reflect how we see the care we provide to patients at the hospital.”
The video was made for the annual Tri-City Emergency Medicine Conference, an independent event run by staff at Grand River, St. Mary’s General Hospital, Cambridge Memorial Hospital and Guelph General Hospital for people practising in the field of emergency medicine. This year’s event was held in Waterloo on Wednesday, although the video causing concern was created for a previous conference.
The Record was alerted to the video by a Grand River employee Thursday morning. Shortly after the hospitals were contacted, the video was removed from YouTube by the user. Later the entire conference website disappeared.
The video features doctors, nurses, other hospital staff, ambulances, paramedics and hospital security inside and outside Grand River.
Staff dressed in costumes portray emergency room patients, who are identified by captions such as “drug seeker,” “promiscuous girl” and “constipated old lady.” The elderly woman is shown behaving erratically with her underwear around her ankles.
Other characters depicted include “I need a drive to the liquor store,” “Ready to stay at the ER hotel,” “3 a.m. rash” and “I was here first” woman complaining about the wait. There are numerous mentions about rectal foreign bodies, including an X-ray image showing a bottle in a person’s torso, as well as sexual references.
Grand River was not aware of the video until a woman called officials to complain on Thursday morning. Karjaluoto alerted the region’s other hospitals and Grand River officials, then looked into removing the video from the internet.
“Someone brought us a complaint, a legitimate complaint, about the content of the video, which we agree was inappropriate,” he said.
St. Mary’s also expressed concern about the video after learning about it Thursday. It’s being investigated by the chief of staff’s office to determine if any of the behaviour in the video is contrary to its codes.
Hospital president Don Shilton said in a written statement: “St. Mary’s in no way condones this video and finds it to be contrary to our mission and values. None of the footage was shot at St. Mary’s and none of our staff was involved. This production does not reflect the behaviour we expect of our people.”
Cambridge Memorial did not want to comment until they looked further into the matter.
Disciplinary measures may be considered as Grand River’s investigation continues, Karjaluoto said.
Conference organizers said the video was intended only for those interested in the conference and not to be posted online for the public to see.
“I can understand how certain elements of the video could offend, but it wasn’t our intent,” said Dr. Adam Shecter, an emergency room doctor at Grand River.
Videos were posted on the conference website, but Shecter said the committee was not aware the person managing the site also put them on YouTube.
Another video called “Beat It,” also shot in the hospital, imitated a Michael Jackson music video. In this case, the choreographed dance video depicts a rivalry between staff from the operating room and emergency department.
“The videos themselves really aren’t meant to portray how we actually see patients,” said Dr. Inderpal Saluja, another conference organizer and Grand River emergency physician.
The doctors said the videos, created by the committee, were started years ago as a lighthearted look at emergency care in order to bring humour to the conference and build camaraderie among staff during the filming.
Staff members in the videos were not on work time and shooting was confined to off-hours in areas where there were no patients, they said. Some scenes were shot outside the hospital.
“We didn’t want to interfere with patient care or inadvertently disrupt anything,” Shecter said.
He said they will reconsider the context of videos in the future and be careful about how they’re shown and distributed.
“We realize now someone was offended and we feel bad about that, but it certainly wasn’t our intent,” Shecter said.
The woman who contacted The Record, and did not want to be named because she was a hospital employee, called the video offensive to patients and embarrassing to all hospital staff because it’s unacceptable for health-care professionals to act that way. She said people will think twice about going to the hospital for treatment out of fear they’ll be made fun of or mocked by staff.http://www.therecord.com/opinion/column ... ital-video
• Luisa D’Amato
• Fri Mar 30 2012 D'Amato: Not much funny about contemptuous hospital video
By Luisa D'Amato
Kitchener’s two hospitals are investigating a video made by local emergency department staff that parodies...
Next time I fall down the stairs, I think I’ll just stay home and bleed to death.
After all, why would anyone go into an emergency room at a local hospital, knowing the contempt that some emergency doctors and nurses have for their patients?
Local medical professionals produced what they’re calling a “lighthearted” video for the annual Tri-City Emergency Medicine Conference. The video was part of the 2010 conference, but has only now come to light.
Hospital officials called this video “inappropriate.” I thought it was repulsive in its sexism, its racism and in the way it callously sneered at people who go to hospital for help. The video had been posted on the conference’s website and also on YouTube. It has since been removed, but I saw a copy of it.
In one segment, called “Promiscuous Girl,” a woman says “I fell on it,” and then an X-ray shows a bottle rammed into a pelvis. Is that supposed to be funny?
In another, a doctor advertises his “Rectal Foreign Body Clinic” in a newspaper ad with the slogan: “If it’s up your crack, we’ll get it back.”
He pulls out a feather duster from between a patient’s legs and gives it an appreciative sniff.
And a janitor spills something on the floor and calls out: “Code Brown.” Three South Asian hospital workers come running to his aid. “That’s not exactly what I meant,” says the janitor, looking sheepish.
There are scenes entitled “911 — I need a Drive to the Liquor Store” and “911- Erectile Dysfunction.” And “Constipated Old Lady” is, of course, an object of disgust and ridicule.
I’m sure that working in an emergency room is stressful, and we all know that humour is a good way to relieve stress. But we also know that jokes often hide a kernel of truth and can disguise a core of hostility. Is this really what doctors and nurses think of the rest of us?
Two of the doctors who organized the conference said they were sorry that people were offended, and they hadn’t meant it to be posted online. That shows a surprising naïvete about the lack of privacy on the internet. And it also misses the point.
People are at their most vulnerable when they’re in emergency rooms. They’re either badly injured or very ill. They might have a baby screaming in pain and not know what’s wrong. They wait for hours, often frightened and disoriented, completely at the mercy of the men and women in green uniforms who decide when they get seen and what will happen next.
They deserve all the kindness, sympathy and professional concern that the medical profession can muster — not this mean-spirited, failed attempt at comedy.
I hope the people who participated in the video remember the Hippocratic Oath, which guides the principles of modern medicine. Within it is a promise to “never do harm to anyone.”