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Ralph Tugade - AA780682
The Member admitted that he engaged in professional misconduct by engaging in a personal relationship with a client. The Member also admitted to sending personal information, regarding a different client, to his personal email address.
The Member was found guilty of the following:
- contravening a standard of practice of the profession or failing to meet the standards of practice of the profession; and
- engaging in conduct relevant to the practice of nursing, that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional.
The College and the Member presented the Panel with a Joint Submission requesting that the Panel make an order that included the following:
- an oral reprimand;
- a five-month suspension; and
- terms, conditions and limitations, including:
- attending two meetings with a Nursing Expert; and
- employer notification for 18 months.
Aggravating factors considered by the Panel included:
- The Member’s personal relationship with a vulnerable client was extremely serious;
- The Member’s conduct strikes at the heart of the profession of nursing; and
- The types of conduct that the Member engaged in, as well as the secretive nature of it, warranted a significant regulatory response.
Mitigating factors considered by the Panel included:
- The Member participated in the process, negotiated in good faith and an Agreed Statement of Facts was reached;
- The Member avoided a lengthy and contested hearing; and
- The Member took accountability and responsibility for his actions, which bodes well for his future rehabilitation.
The Panel accepted the Joint Submission, concluding that the proposed penalty was reasonable and in the public interest.