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Michigan State University health care worker suspended for asking patient to adjust face mask

Published: Feb. 12, 2021 at 4:47 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - An MSU employee who says she was trying to stick to the university’s mask mandate is now asking to get a suspension removed from her record.

Scarlett Doyle is an MRI technologist who asked a patient to make sure their mask covered her nose.

Doyle recounted the incident, “She said ‘you royally pissed me off. You don’t have any reason to talk to me like that.’ I said, “Please understand, our patients share the changing rooms and we’re just trying to keep everyone safe.’”

Eventually, the patient re-adjusted her face mask. Doyle said the remainder of the patient’s appointment was amicable.

Doyle said, “She did her exam, I told her to have a goodnight, she thanked me, wished me the same, and she left. A couple of days later I was called into my supervisors office and I was being accused of bullying a patient.”

As a result of the incident Doyle was suspended for three days without pay.

“It felt like the biggest punch in my stomach,” said Doyle.

Currently, MSU requires everyone on campus to wear a mask at all times, indoors and outdoors. Doyle said there are signs in the lobby as a reminder to patients they need a mask and even signs showing patients how to wear the mask. But despite the numerous signs, patients still have an issue with the mask mandate.

“I had a patient throw a dirty mask at me and swear at me,” Doyle said. “I’ve been called really bad names. She’s {patient} not the only person.”

Doyle said the university isn’t supporting it’s staff.

“We’ve been treated really badly the whole time and to be suspended for asking a patient to wear a mask, I felt like I had to standup for everybody who is going through the same thing,” said Doyle.

Michigan State said it will not comment on the incident. Doyle returned to work after her three day suspension and was given backpay.

She received that payment Friday, but Doyle is working to remove the suspension from her file.

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