Tribunal suspends nurse for professional misconduct and falsifying report

17 Jun 2016

A tribunal has suspended a nurse’s registration for professional misconduct for unwarranted physical contact with a patient and falsifying a report of the incident.

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) referred Ms Silvia Csepregi to the South Australian Health Practitioners Tribunal (the tribunal), alleging that the following behaviour amounted to professional misconduct:

  1. She placed her hand on, over or otherwise in contact with the face of a 98-year-old patient, who was then receiving treatment at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and who had presented with, among other things, a mild cognitive impairment, causing a bruise to the patient's left lateral jaw.
  2. She generated a false, inaccurate or misleading electronic report on the SA Health Safety Learning System database (the SLS Report) which attributed the patient's injury to inadvertent contact with her bed railing.
  3. She later implored another enrolled nurse to corroborate the false, inaccurate or misleading SLS Report that she had generated.

Ms Csepregi admitted the factual basis of the allegations as outlined by the NMBA which asked the tribunal to send a clear message to the public and the profession that unwarranted physical contact with patients will not be tolerated.

This behaviour was aggravated by the falsification of the SLS Report and Ms Csepregi’s attempts to enlist the cooperation of a colleague who observed the behaviour to corroborate her false version of events.

The tribunal agreed that Ms Csepregi’s behaviour amounted to professional misconduct and imposed the following disciplinary sanctions:

  • reprimand,
  • suspension of registration with the NMBA for one year, three months and six days, expiring on 9 June 2017, and
  • conditions on her registration requiring that she practise under supervision and carry out further education in the areas of managing challenging behaviours, managing cognitive impairment and ethical behaviour of nurses.

The tribunal decision is published on the South Australian Health Practitioners Tribunal website.

Page reviewed 17/06/2016