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Tamara Whyte, JD03006
The Member admitted that she engaged in professional misconduct when she failed to assess and respond to changes in a patient’s health condition throughout her shift, including assessing the patient’s blood glucose levels and level of consciousness in circumstances where such assessments were indicated. The Member only assessed the patient’s vital signs once during her shift and failed to document the results until the end of her shift. The Member admitted that she also failed to review the patient’s health records from the patient’s stay in hospital and failed to obtain information with respect to her care there. When the patient’s condition deteriorated, the Member failed to transfer the patient to the hospital or report the change in condition to the patient’s daughter.
Based on the Member’s admissions, the Panel found the Member:
- contravened a standard of practice of the profession or failed to meet the standards of practice of the profession; and
- engaged in conduct relevant to the practice of nursing, that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as dishonourable and unprofessional.
The College of Nurses of Ontario (“CNO”) and the Member presented the Panel with a Joint Submission on Order requesting that the Panel make an order that included the following:
- an oral reprimand;
- a 3-month suspension;
- terms, conditions and limitations, including:
- attending a minimum of two meetings with a Regulatory Expert;
- successfully completing a course in health assessment; and
- a 24-month employer notification period.
Aggravating factors considered by the Panel included:
- significant consequence to the patient; however, there was no causal link between the Member’s conduct and the patient’s outcome.
Mitigating factors considered by the Panel included:
- the Member admitted to the misconduct, expressed remorse and accepted responsibility which demonstrated insight into the issues;
- the Member is a single mother of 2 children;
- the Member has no previous history with CNO; and
- the Member has undertaken a proactive review by agreeing to meet with a Regulatory Expert and take the nursing course as required.
The Panel accepted the Joint Submission on Order, concluding that the proposed penalty was reasonable and in the public interest.