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Hospital faces mess over ‘messy bun’ post

By Matt Olberding

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    LINCOLN, Nebraska (Lincoln Journal Star) — A mention of “messy buns” recently caused a bit of a mess for Bryan Health on social media.

The health system said in a Monday Facebook post that a recent update in one of its nursing units used an image of a messy bun “to illustrate images of hair not secured adequately.”

A staff member apparently took a screenshot of a presentation mentioning a dress code update “with an emphasis on hair being clean, neatly managed, therefore no ‘messy buns’,” and shared it on social media last week. It included a photo of the hairstyle, which involves putting hair up in a loose bun.

The social media post went viral when it was picked up by Blake Lynch, a registered nurse who also is an internet personality known as Nurse Blake. He made a TikTok video mocking the policy that as of Wednesday had more than 450,000 views.

“If you really want to make a difference, don’t worry about hair,” Lynch said in the video. “Let’s talk about safe staffing. Let’s talk about mandatory breaks, uninterrupted breaks.”

He also posted the video to other social media accounts, including Facebook and Instagram, where it garnered thousands of comments, almost all of them critical of the policy.

However, Bryan said in a statement that its dress code and personal appearance policy for employees makes no mention of messy buns, and the recent update to the policy had nothing to do with hairstyles but eliminated language that had previously restricted “unnatural hair colors.”

The statement said that the social media posts “grossly misrepresented a long-standing Bryan Health policy.”

Bryan said the policy is “similar to policies at other leading health systems and other industries that require professional appearance and have additional needs for safety and sanitation.”

“The policy does and will continue to reference clean, neatly managed hair, appropriately secured out of the face,” the statement said. “Appropriately secured hair is important for a myriad of safety reasons.”

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