Nurse accessed patient’s record to have sex with him
A REHABILITATION nurse has accessed a patient's records to get his phone number, begun texting him and eventually went to his house and had sex with him.
The man suffered a serious spinal injury in a car crash and was in the nurse's care before being discharged.
He was considered to be a vulnerable person because of mental health issues and the South Australian Health Practitioners Tribunal heard the nurse was concerned for his welfare when she accessed his personal details.
The nurse worked for the Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre for 15 years as a registered nurse.
On March 29, 2016 the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency received details of the complaint from the Rehabilitation Centre.
The Tribunal heard that nurse accessed the patients file to find his mobile phone number.
She and the patient then exchanged text messages before she attended his house and "engaged in consensual sexual behaviour" with him.
The nurse admitted her actions during an interview with AHPRA.
The nurse argued that she had believed she was trying to help the patient and be a friend to him, though she later admitted this was the wrong mentality.
After the first encounter the nurse struggled to distance herself from the patient and "extricate herself" from the relationship as she realised her behaviour was not appropriate.
She was transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital quality and safety department before being fired on June 13, 2017.
She remains unemployed.
The Tribunal said accessing the patients private records was professional misconduct and her subsequent actions were further breaches of the codes of conduct.
"Under this conduct, nurses have a responsibility to maintain a professional boundary between themselves and the person being cared for, and sexual relationships between nurses and persons with whome they have previously entered into a professional relationship are inappropriate in most circumstances," the tribunal concluded.
The nurse displayed guilt and remorse according to a psychologist's report tendered to the Tribunal.
At the time of the incident the nurse was experiencing serious marital difficulties as well as other family pressures.
Her nurses registration was suspended for 12 months and she was ordered to undergo a variety of training courses before she is readmitted.