Is a nurse discussing nipple piercings she noticed I have while my mom is in the room a HIPPA violation?

So today I was getting X-rays done and a nurse blabbed that she noticed I have nipple piercings and noticed them through the x ray. I’m a 25 year old female so of course I’m not telling my mom I have them. Did she violate HIPPA?
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Superb Opinion

  • Nurse here! She did not violate HIPAA as nipple piercings, or piercings of any kind, do not fall under Protected Health Information (PHI).

    That being said, the discussion of your piercings should be limited to medically relevant reasons only. While not a violation of HIPAA, I would say it was very unprofessional to bring up your piercings regardless of who is or is not in the room, unless medically necessary.

    I'm sorry she brought them up!

    • I was waiting for you to answer! I remember you saying a while back you were a nurse. And thank you! I felt super uncomfortable as even though my mom took me to the hospital today, me and her don’t have the greatest relationship and I just felt like our relationship was assumed to have a normal dynamic.

    • You are a nurse* I should say lol

    • Haha! Sorry I'm late! But yeah, that's the hard thing. It isn't great to assume your relationship with whoever you bring in. I always ask if the patient is comfortable with me sharing information or discussing their health with others present. Again, I am sorry the nurse brought it up! We have annoyingly big mouths sometimes.

Most Helpful Girl

  • If your mother is listed as an emergency contact, then I say no. If she is not listed as that, then yes. This is my opinion as someone who has not read a HIPPA document since 2017

    • Would you say it’s unprofessional for a nurse to bring up?

    • Unprofessional, yes. I would say that the nurse probably had a lapse of judgement or thought that your mother already knew. If I were the nurse, I would not have brought it up.

Most Helpful Guys

  • It doesn't seem like it. I'm not a nurse but I work in a clinical setting. HIPAA usually has a lot more to do with records in my experience. It's also relevant conversation since she's talking about what she saw during a diagnostic procedure, so I'd say no. You also invited your mother there, which means she's witness to whatever is going on with you. Embarrassing, uncomfortable, but legal.

    • I just feel like it didn’t need to be said as it’s not part of a health concern. Is was more to point out “damn you have nipple piercings” those are more common with people my age than not so , weird either way

    • Oh I agree with you: that was unprofessional and not the best way to practice care. You still have a valid concern about more intimate details and she could have at least extended the courtesy of asking you if you wanted your mother out of the room. Sloppy work, you can at least complain to the practice you visited about that.

  • No, because if I say s, patient has nipple piercings, what can you tell me about that patient? Age, race, gender, sexual orientation, social status, address? No, you can't because it doesn't reveal any if that. HIPAA protects information from which you can glean information about that person. Saying a patient has nippke piercings tells the other person next to nothing about them.

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What Girls & Guys Said

5 6
  • It was unprofessional yet I’m sure she did not mean to cause any issue. She just didn’t think.

  • Don't be hoe... I'm sure your mom already knows you a hoe anyways lol

    • If that was supposed to bother me, it didn’t 🥴

    • That's nice but why you afraid of your mom finding out?

    • My 25 year old tits are none of her business and she’s gossipy. Me and her don’t have a great relationship but she is a nurse and insisted she drove me

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  • She should have not mentioned it with your mom present, but perhaps she felt that you gave your consent for your mom to hear everything. It is kinda a grey issue.

    • What bothers me is she assumed my relationship with my mom. Although my mom was great and nice enough to bring me today, me and her have a rocky relationship

  • I do not believe so.

    But, it wouldn't be anyway, I believe, because...

    If you didn't want your mother to hear anything that might have been said between you and any medical professional, then she shouldn't have been there and, furthermore, it was YOUR responsibility to prevent your mother from being there.

    By having your mother in the room with you, the medical professional justifiably assumes that what is to be discussed can be heard by anyone that you admit into the room. Put another way, by you inviting anyone to be with you, you are implicitly giving notice that the people with you are important to you and can be a part of the discussion; by them being there, you are giving implicit consent that they can participate.

    • This answer is toxic. I had blood in my spit and my mom is a nurse and decided I shouldn’t drive alone. I was fully prepared to get medical treatment alone.

    • The only thing toxic about my answer is your interpretation of it.
      I gave you an answer from a legal perspective.
      Furthermore, look up HIPPA yourself.
      https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/index.html

      However, I suspect that I agree with male @Anonymous (36-45) below. Piercings are not related to medical conditions.

      Let me also give you an example backing up what I wrote earlier.

      My wife had Stage 0 DCIS and a subsequent DMX (double mastectomy) in SEP 2021. Every 6 months, we revisit her breast surgeon for a follow-up. I am there in the office with my wife and the doctor. We freely discuss everything. I do not believe that the doctor ever once asked my wife if I should leave so they can discuss her condition privately. If my wife didn't want me to go, she would have said so and I would have waited in the waiting area. But, instead, because I was with her, the doctors interpret that I am part of the discussion and overall healthcare process regarding my wife's condition. Thus, implicitly, my wife is giving consent that I can know anything discussed in the room between the 3 of us.

    • So while it’s not breaking a HIPPA violation as I learned, it’s extremely toxic that you insinuated I should’ve risked my health so my mom didn’t find out about my 25 year old boobs.

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  • No, not if your mom was in the room with you.

    • She was, but I felt like this was super irrelevant for the nurse to bring up. I’m 25. My boobs aren’t meant for my mom to know about

    • You are 25 but that's the reason she shouldn't be in there. Your boyfriend should but not her.

  • Contact a lawyer for legal questions. If you do something that’s so shameful you don’t want your own mother to know. Why did you do it?

    • Because I’m allowed to pierce my 25 year old tits

    • Asker…. You can if you want. But you ask a question and you don’t want the answer. Obviously you’re ashamed of it if you didn’t want your mom to know

    • But nonetheless. Seek legal advice. They’ll probably humor you. But if there is something legitimate they might be able to work with you

  • Yes but why is your mother in the room with you when you are getting a mammogram?

    • She wasn’t in the room while I was getting an X-ray.

  • Did she leave the room and consult your mom of did you allow your mother to be in the room when your films were being discussed. If your mother was in the room, it was up to you to ask her to leave. I think you have to take some responsibility here.

  • Not sure. Why was your mother there?

    • I had blood in my spit and she insisted I shouldn’t drive to the hospital myself

  • What a troll you people don’t even try anymore to be creative

    • It’s a real story unfortunately

  • No, Nipple Piercings has nothing to do with any Medical Conditions. Their just Nipple Piercings.

    • Hmmmm it’s still gossipy though. It was just rather weird

    • It was unprofessional of her.