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Debbie Cyntra Pangowish, HH11937

The Member committed professional misconduct when she failed to adequately document admissions, assessments and/or nursing notes for patients admitted to the Facility or under her care for approximately three months. The Member failed to assist her colleague, who was an unregulated care provider, with the care of a patient in visible medical distress. The Member also failed to assess and provide care to another patient at any time after the patient’s admission, who was eventually found unresponsive. The Member failed to complete hourly checks of patients, respond promptly to a radio call from her colleague for immediate assistance responding to an overdose, respond promptly to a code situation where a patient was actively overdosing, failed to secure the medication cart, and watched videos and/or played on her phone while on shift.

The Member was not present or represented by legal counsel at the hearing. The hearing proceeded in her absence.

The Panel found the Member committed professional misconduct in that she:

  • contravened a standard of practice of the profession or failed to meet the standards of practice of the profession;
  • failed to keep records as required; 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 Panel made an order that included the following:

  • an oral reprimand;
  • a 7-month suspension;
  • terms, conditions and limitations, including:
    • a minimum of 2 meetings with a Nursing Expert;
    • a 24-month employer notification period; and
    • 6 random spot audits of the Member’s documentation every 3 months for an 18-month period to ensure compliance with both employer expectations and CNO’s standards of practice.

Aggravating factors considered by the Panel included:

  • the Member’s conduct potentially led to the death of a patient;
  • seriousness of the Member’s conduct and the flagrant breach and disregard of multiple professional standards;
  • the Member’s conduct brought serious shame and discredit to the profession; and
  • the Member had previously been issued a caution by the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee in relation to similar breaches of standards.

There were no mitigating factors considered by the Panel.

Page last reviewed March 28, 2022