Nurses disciplined for theft, patient assaults and fights

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Most of the nurses who appeared before the SA Nursing Council last year were disciplined for theft. The Times reports that the other cases were for fights‚ assaulting patients and a medication error.

The council dealt with 25 cases between March and November last year and nine of those involved theft‚ according to a notice issued in the Government Gazette. Of the nine‚ one nurse was fired and struck off the nursing registry. Five were given suspended sentences and were cautioned not be found guilty of a similar offence within a specified period. One was suspended for six months and two for three years.

The report says fists also flew in hospital wards or corridors and this was not only between nurses but between nurses and patients too. In one case a nurse assaulted a colleague and in two cases the nurses assaulted their patients. Both the nurses accused of assaulting patients are men enrolled as auxillary nurses‚ who carry out basic nursing procedures and take care of patients under the supervision of a registered nurse. Both were handed a two-year suspension‚ which was suspended for three years condition that they do not assault patients.

The report says one registered nurse in Mpumalanga was accused of sexual assault. The details of the alleged abuse were unclear and the nurse‚ who is also a midwife‚ was cautioned and reprimanded.

In Gauteng‚ a nurse was found guilty of a medication error and was handed a suspended sentence.

The report says the majority of the cases heard by the council involved nurses in Gauteng‚ followed by Mpumalanga and then the Western Cape.

The Times report

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