Nurse’s fitness to prac­tise ques­tioned af­ter man’s fall

The New Zealand Herald - - NEWS - Amy Wig­gins

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.

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