Nurse Jodi Doering’s story on CNN this week was a convincing one. Apparently, as a nurse at a hospital in South Dakota, Doering had numerous patients who had died magnanimous deaths from COVID-19, while shaking their fists at the heavens, demanding that the virus wasn’t real. As the patients were dying, they were apparently yelling at Nurse Doering that the virus wasn’t real.
In a story I covered on Tuesday, Doering at the very least, over-embellished a great deal of her story. Now it appears, her story is likely completely untrue—and it only gets weirder from there.
On Tuesday morning, after speaking with a Huron Regional Medical Center (HRMC) employee, RedState was unable to confirm anything about Doering’s employment with the hospital or even if she was assigned to any work on a COVID-19 unit. We were able to confirm that the hospital has had six COVID-19 deaths over the entire pandemic. The probability that Doering was present for any or all of them is quite low. Questions regarding Doering’s employment were unanswered because of alleged privacy policies regarding employment, however, Senior Columnist at Mediaite, John Ziegler, shared with RedState screenshots he obtained that showed that HRMC had provided comment to at least one person regarding Doering’s employment:
“Thank you for connecting with us. Jodi Doering is not an HRMC employee and her opinions are hers [sic] alone. She is a traveling nurse that contracts with HRMC and 3 other emergency services organizations. While we do not condone nurse Doering’s comments on social media and with CNN, she has the right to free speech.”
To confirm the comments made by HRMC, RedState attempted to contact the hospital for additional comment on Doering’s employment, only to find that the account that had sent the alleged message no longer existed. Immediately, questions were raised about the authenticity of the original messages.
Upon further investigation, RedState was able to determine that HRMC had maintained a Twitter account with that username for the better part of the last 3 years. The Wayback Machine, an online collection of archived webpages from around the internet shows that on November 13, 2020, before Doering’s statements to CNN, HRMC had tweeted from the account.
At this time, RedState is unaware of why the Twitter account was deleted; however, it is clear that hospital representatives previously maintained the account since at least 2017. What it does show is that HRMC is not thrilled with the current level of attention that has been brought to the small-town hospital by Doering.
The revelation that Doering is a travel nurse is quite interesting. To find out more about what that means for Doering’s involvement with the hospital, RedState reached out to and received comment from 8, full-time staff nurses from hospitals around the country, and 2 nurse staffing companies for comment. (all spoke to RedState on condition of anonymity)
Almost unanimously (7 to 1), the nurses found that the majority of travel nurses often cause more problems than they fix, and have issues that keep them from earning longer-term, full-time employment with the hospitals with whom they are assigned. The one nurse who spoke favorably of travel nurses said that at least 30% are still a problem, with another 30-40% of them being “sufficient” to complete the task but not worthy of earning a full-time position. Unanimously, the nurses also found that speaking to the media about patient behavior was grounds for dismissal or reassignment.
One of the nurses stated:
“They usually aren’t the most efficient or useful to work with, they just usually fill staffing shortages. But sometimes, it feels like it would be easier to assign their patients to other full-time staff, and not have them, ’cause it’s worse than having a new nurse. They don’t go through enough orientation to know where things are, or to understand how things even run at the hospital.”
“I know that if I ever talked to the press about a patient’s comments bedside, full-time or not, I would lose my job immediately and likely struggle to find work again.”
Of the two staffing firms I talked to, both found that travel nurses are almost exclusively of lower quality than their full-time counterparts. One of the firms identified two types of travel nurses: Reliable nurses who preferred the travel lifestyle and unreliable nurses who used temp positions as a means of work as a result of their inability to secure long-term positions. Both figured that the former was greatly outweighed by the latter. One of the firms described travel nurses as “unable” to hold a standard position with a hospital because of another issue, and use travel nursing as a means to move on to the next position should the current placement end poorly.
That same source told RedState that of their total placements, travel nurses make up between 50 and 60% of their staff placements, but make-up nearly 100% of the firm’s total complaint load. He went on to share story after story of nightmare situations, from rental cars abandoned in front of airports to squatting in apartments, long after their contracts end.
When asked about Doering’s behavior, both firms stated that her actions would have likely earned her not only dismissal from the assigned hospital, but also a permanent ban from being assigned by the staffing firm in the future. Violations of patient privacy are a zero-tolerance issue for many healthcare employers.
“[Doering’s] actions in talking to the press and criticizing dying patients crossed an ethical line that would not be tolerated at our agency, or any other agency that I know.”
Doering may very well have witnessed what she claims to have witnessed, but not at the frequency or the magnitude at which she claims she did. At the very least, her actions are unethical, and much more likely at this point, a total and complete fabrication.