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Sandra Goy, 8912834
The Member engaged in professional misconduct by making several inappropriate, dismissive, hurtful and unprofessional comments directed at or within earshot of multiple, vulnerable patients. Her demeaning language ranged from insulting patients based on physical characteristics to hurtfully commenting on the nature of their respective health conditions. The Member also admitted to inappropriately restraining a patient’s movement by forcefully holding onto the patient’s walker and immobilizing the patient, who became increasingly agitated. The Member also made inappropriate and unprofessional comments towards a colleague.
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;
- verbally, physically and emotionally abused patients; and
- engaged 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 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 5-month suspension;
- terms, conditions and limitations, including:
- attending a minimum of 2 meetings with a Regulatory Expert;
- 12-month employer notification period ; and
- no independent practice for 12 months.
The Panel accepted the Joint Submission on Order, concluding that the proposed penalty was reasonable and in the public interest.
Aggravating factors considered by the Panel included:
- the Member worked in a long-term care setting with vulnerable patients who have multiple complex needs and are highly dependent on staff;
- the Member’s comments towards these vulnerable patients were cruel and were over a short period of time;
- the Member’s conduct showed a lack of empathy and respect for patients;
- the Member’s comments had an effect on a patient causing the patient to have tears in her eyes;
- the Member’s conduct towards a patient when she confronted the patient attempting to leave, was inappropriate as she responded by forcefully holding onto the patient’s walker which caused the patient to become agitated and to bang her walker on the floor;
- the Member’s conduct created a risk of harm to both the physical and emotional wellbeing of the patients;
- the Member’s conduct raises questions about her ability to work collaboratively with the team, as is demonstrated by her inappropriate comments towards her colleague;
- the Member failed to listen to her Preceptor’s concerns when she told her to stop and instead persisted in her conduct; and
- the Member’s conduct undermines the public’s confidence in the nursing profession.
Mitigating factors considered by the Panel included:
- the Member accepted accountability and responsibility for her conduct; and
- the Member has no prior discipline history with the CNO.