Abusive Lincolnshire nurse given caution
An abusive nurse who pulled back a curtain and exposed a semi-nude patient to launch a verbal tirade at a workmate has been let off with a caution.
Julie Vernon chased healthcare assistant Peter Chapman into a cubicle where he was treating a patient before she pulled back a curtain to reveal the partially clothed man to two other patients.
Vernon then barked at Mr Chapman:‘I am the boss of you and I tell you what to do’, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.
The nurse began shouting and swearing at Mr Chapman after she became annoyed at him for following a colleague’s instructions instead of hers, the tribunal heard.
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Vernon also shouted at Mr Chapman: ‘Oh, she’s in charge of my f*****g patients now is she?’ and ‘oh for f**k’s sake, this is a joke.’
A conduct and competence committee gave Vernon a caution for her misconduct after proving a series of allegations against her at a central London hearing.
"As a very experienced nurse, Mrs Vernon should have known how to behave professionally in the workplace and that she should have been able to exercise more self control," panel chair Jacqueline Mitton said.
"The panel then went on to consider whether a caution order would be appropriate.
"The panel concluded that there were no concerns about Mrs Vernon’s clinical practice, and that the risk of harm to patients and the risk of repetition is minimal.
"The panel concluded that this was a case at the lower end of the spectrum of impaired fitness to practise and that a caution order would be sufficient to protect the public interest and mark the unacceptability of the misconduct.
"The panel considered that a caution order for two years would be proportionate to the seriousness of the misconduct."
Vernon swore at Mr Chapman after he had ignored her reassessment of a patient at Louth County Hospital in Lincolnshire on the nightshift of June 23 and 24, 2011.
The nurse then told colleague Rebecca Westerman she was a ‘f*****g lazy t**t’ before telling a workmate that ‘I can’t stand that b***h.’
Vernon, who has been a nurse for 34 years, resigned before a disciplinary hearing led by Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust was completed in September 2011.
She told investigators that she ‘flipped’ when she began shouting at Mr Chapman - she also screamed at the healthcare assistant: ‘Do you f*****g want these keys as well?’
Vernon, who did not attend the hearing and did not send a representative, admitted she told Mr Chapman: ‘I am the boss of you and I tell you what to do.’
She also admitted she told a colleague in reference to Ms Westerman: ‘I can’t stand that bitch.’
However, she denied pulling back a curtain to expose a partially clothed patient to other people on the ward and further denied making any other comments to Mr Chapman or Ms Westerman.
Charges Vernon asked Mr Chapman: ‘Who the f*****g hell do you think you are?’ and ‘what the f**k is this?’ were found not proved.
Further charges she told a colleague on the same nightshift: ‘If you have any f*****g problems, you two behind the curtain, then you can come to me,’ were also found not proved.
Vernon is now free to continue in the profession without restrictions.