Nurse’s fitness to practise questioned after man’s fall
A registered nurse’s fitness to practise has been questioned after he failed to provide adequate care to a brain injury patient who hit his head in a fall.
The man, who had suffered a brain injury, fell and hit his head a few days after being transferred to a residential care facility for dementia and psychogeriatric residents run by Bupa.
A healthcare assistant who observed the fall informed a registered nurse but did not complete an incident form until the following day.
The nurse did not request a referral of the man to another health professional or the hospital. In addition, the nurse did not notify the man’s family.
The nurse did not make any record of the fall until the next day when he made a retrospective entry in the progress notes that there was grazing on the man’s forehead, that he had been resistive and agitated, and that he had been placed on the list for a post-fall doctor’s review.
Over the next few days, the man’s condition deteriorated and he became more aggressive and resistant to care. He was moved back to a public hospital.
Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Rose Wall said care planning was inadequate, prompt action was not taken when the man’s behaviour deteriorated, the management and follow-up of the man’s fall was poor and the oversight of the healthcare assistant was inadequate.
She recommended the Nursing Council consider whether a competence review of the nurse was warranted should he return to nursing in New Zealand.