Termination excessive for error in judgment

Having difficulty dealing with a heavy workload on a day when the nursing unit had numerous visitors, the grievor placed one particularly unruly patient in a room where he could not be observed. Her offence was foundto be an error in judgment, but not patient abuse.
By Mark Rogers
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 08/12/2011

A nurse was fired after she temporarily removed a demented and wheelchair-bound patient who was acting out from a busy hallway into a room housing a waste disposal unit. The employer said the nurse’s actions were an affront to the dignity of a vulnerable patient and a violation of professional standards of care.

An acute medicine nurse since 2004, D.D. worked in the hospital’s Unit 5, where care was provided for patients with medical and behavioural issues, including dementia.

Nurses worked 12-hour shifts in teams caring for each other’s patients during breaks and mealtimes. While the desired ratio for care was one nurse for five patients, that ratio could stretch to one nurse for every 10 patients during breaks and at mealtimes.