The case of a longtime nurse who spat at a geriatric nurse shows the kind of behavior that undermines public confidence in the profession, a court has found.
The three-decade-year-old nurse, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was the assistant manager of the nursing ward at a nursing home for the elderly in 2019 when she was warned that the resident was prone to spitting.
While the nurse was conducting her medication rounds, the resident, who has dementia, spat at her twice, with the nurse claiming that some saliva ended up in her mouth.
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The nurse spat in the resident’s face, taking a moment to “collect saliva” in her mouth beforehand. She said: “Perhaps that’s how we should treat them,” said the Victoria Civil and Administrative Court.
The nurse walked into a room where there were two other residents and another registered nurse and said loud enough for everyone to hear, “That damn little c*** spat in my face.”
The “vulgar” or inappropriate language was aimed at junior staff who the nurse was responsible for supervising, the court found.
The nurse’s actions constituted professional misconduct and were the kind that undermined public confidence in the nursing profession, members of the tribunal said.
“People in the position of resident cannot complain or object to such behavior,” members said in a decision released Wednesday.
“Treatment of individuals in aged care and elder abuse is a sensitive issue and vulnerable people need to be protected.
“The aged care facility is their home where they should feel safe and secure.”
The nurse’s comments worried members of the tribunal in part because they showed an unacceptable attitude toward residents, members said.
It’s even more important to show empathy and respect to residents when they have dementia and mostly can’t speak for themselves, they said.
The court suspended the nurse’s registration for two years, during which time she is barred from providing health services to anyone.
https://7news.com.au/news/vic/nurse-commits-vulgar-act-against-aged-care-resident-c-9436821 Nurse commits ‘vulgar’ act against geriatric nurse