14 Mar 2023
A tribunal has ordered that a registered nurse be reprimanded and complete a program of education after it was found she had practised under the influence of alcohol.
On 14 January 2021, Ms Julie-Ann Joseph attended a social event during which she consumed alcohol. Later that evening, Ms Joseph started her shift at a hospital and saw 8 patients. At 1.30am on 15 January 2021, Ms Joseph finished her shift early due to feeling unwell and on her drive home, was pulled over by local police.
Ms Joseph’s breath analysis test taken by police showed a blood alcohol content of 0.104 and she was charged with driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content exceeding 0.08. Ms Joseph’s driver’s license was suspended immediately following the breath test.
On 10 February 2021, Ms Joseph pleaded guilty to the offence where she was fined $500 and had her driver’s licence disqualified for 7 months.
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) suspended Ms Joseph’s registration on 14 May 2021 under immediate action for a period of over 6 months and referred Ms Joseph to the Western Australia State Administrative Tribunal (the Tribunal).
The Tribunal found that Ms Joseph had engaged in a way that constitutes professional misconduct and ordered that she:
The Tribunal noted that Ms Joseph was impaired and could not perform her professional duties and responsibilities in the manner essential to her profession, thus putting the safety of her clients, herself and her co-workers at risk. It also noted that Ms Joseph’s conduct was an isolated event and she continues to learn and grow and is open to all feedback given.
The Tribunal’s decision was made on 10 February 2023 and the decision is available on the eCourts portal of Western Australia.