Tribunal reprimands nurse for professional misconduct

17 Oct 2017

A tribunal has reprimanded an enrolled nurse and imposed conditions on her registration for engaging in professional misconduct.

The State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia (the tribunal) reprimanded Mrs Claire Louise Crane, and imposed conditions on her registration including supervised practice and undertaking relevant education.

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) referred Mrs Crane to the tribunal, alleging that she had engaged in professional misconduct by misleading a patient into believing that medication given by intramuscular injection was Olanzapine, and instead administering an injection of 3mls of water.

In making its decision the tribunal noted that Mrs Crane had admitted that she had behaved in a way that constitutes professional misconduct and she and the NMBA had agreed upon a penalty.

By way of mitigation, Mrs Crane submitted (among other things) that:

  • she had an otherwise clean disciplinary history
  • she had been under an extreme amount of mental strain at the time, which she has sought medical treatment for
  • she had been open and honest immediately following the event and admitted the conduct to her employer and to the NMBA
  • she had apologised for her actions and for placing the patient, the patient’s family and all staff concerned into the situation, and
  • there was no malice or intent towards the patient and she was extremely remorseful.

On 31 August 2017, the tribunal reprimanded Mrs Crane and imposed conditions on her registration including that she must be supervised by another registered nurse when undertaking medication management and medication administration and that she must undertake relevant education including managing acute mental health, medical management and administration, and ethical decision-making in clinical practice. She was also ordered to pay the NMBA’s costs.

The tribunal’s decision is published on the tribunal’s website.

Page reviewed 17/10/2017