Most workplaces have rules about acceptable clothing, whether there are uniforms or workers wear their own fashion choices.
But what about the public in a workplace? Aside from no shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service, can workers tell the public what they can wear?
A nurse in a hospital thought so, but another employee disagreed. After the fallout that resulted from the nurse's actions, the employee wondered if they did the right thing.
So they consulted the "Am I The A**hole" (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
Redditor charmonroe asked:
"AITA for getting a nurse fired over a shirt?"
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
"I am a general surgeon and I very rarely get involved with nursing issues. I have also never made a formal complaint or really any complaint about a nurse before."
"We had a 7 year old admitted in for abdominal pain about a week ago. I got called down to the ER to consult and when I got to the patient I notice there is no parent or guardian with the child and no one watching him."
"I asked the nurse assigned to his case where the parent is because I need to talk to them and have them sign consent forms since the child needs surgery. The nurse said the parent was in the parking lot and would call."
"I am thinking the parent is giving updates not unreasonable. The mother arrives and I explain the procedure, the documents are signed we are good to go."
"As I was leaving to go and schedule the OR I hear the nurse telling the mother 'okay you need to leave now'. I hard stop, even with pandemic restrictions we were not restricting parents from the rooms."
"I inquired why she is not allowed, thinking there might be a reasonable explanation. The nurse said 'she is dressed inappropriately and needs to leave'."
"I look the mother up and down. She was dressed in pajamas pants and a shirt that had text that said 'f'k bitch make money' (not censored)."
"'If she dresses like that she can't be here' the nurse exclaimed. I informed her she needs to find another case to be assigned to and the mother is absolutely allowed."
"The complaint I made to her supervisor got her fired. I feel like I did the right but the nurses have been giving me some mean looks and seem to be distant and cold towards me which is new to me."
"Am I actually the a**hole in this and shouldn't have complained to her supervisor?"
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- NAH - No A**holes Here
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole.
"She was stopping a parent bring with their child in hospital, meaning a 7 year old was alone with no support because of words on a shirt ???"
"NTA for putting in a complaint. I'm guessing if she got fired over this then there were other problems." ~ Throwawaycarstore
"Yea she probably got fired for an accumulation of things. She probably told the nurses that it was solely because of OP."
"Thank you OP for standing up for that parent. If you hadn't have heard the nurse say that then her child would have had to face all of that alone."
"Nurse should have given the benefit of the doubt. If they rushed to hospital then their attire was probably the least of their worries." ~ Mori606
"I think it really depends on the nurse. Nurses just like all other people can be good or bad."
"We did a four month nicu stay this year with our preemie and I have to say the vast majority of the nurses were amazing people who took great care of our son and really cared about the babies in their care."
"Others seemed to be on a power trip, one of them made me cry for trying to speak to my sick baby, when doctors had made no indication that was bad for him."
"Later on we had her again when he was doing so much better and she treated him and us as if he was still very very sick and shouldn't be held, barely touched or even looked at or talked to."
"The first time we had her she reduced me to total tears, all I could do is talk to my baby and gently touch him every four hours for care times for a long time, at this point I couldn't even hold him. They kept him covered up so the lights wouldn't bother him but I had to sit there all day not even able to see him, talking to him and reassuring him that I was there and loved him was all I could give him and she tried to take it away."
"He's been home five months now, he's 9 months old, the sweetest baby I've ever had the pleasure of knowing (I've known a lot) and he absolutely loves the sound of my voice, he stares at me when I talk and his whole face lights up when I tell him I love him."
"I don't think me talking to him all those long days when I couldn't hold and barely touch him did any harm, in fact I might argue it helped, if he had still been inside me he would've heard my voice every time I spoke so that by the time he was born it would've been as familiar and comforting as the sound of my heartbeat."
"But some nurses think they know best and absolutely everyone should bow to their whims."
"Thankfully from my experience those kind seem to be a small minority, in my opinion you shouldn't work in nursing if you cannot manage to have compassion and empathy for your patients and their families (don't even get me started on the nurse who checked me out after my c-section who thought I should be happy to be going home, leaving my baby behind)." ~ blue_pirate_flamingo
While the OP may feel bad because the nurse lost their job, it was still the nurse's own decisions and actions that caused it to happen.
Redditors absolved the OP of any guilt, even if they can't absolve themself.