Incompetent nurse suspended after catalogue of errors in Bradford (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Incompetent nurse suspended after catalogue of errors in Bradford
An error-prone Bradford nurse made a catalogue of serious mistakes, including giving a patient on dialysis a drink of lucozade instead of a glucose drip, a disciplinary hearing was told.
Juleth Deborah McKenzie, who was employed as a grade five staff nurse at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust at the time, was even found to be unable to accurately calculate a patient’s heart rate, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.
Other allegations against the nurse, which were either admitted or found proved by an NMC conduct and competence panel, include: l not being aware of the difference between milligrams and micrograms; l giving medication to patients she was not authorised to; l prioritising getting personal details of a patient over attempting to stem bleeding; l checking a patient’s temperature instead of blood pressure; l assessing a patient with Parkinson’s disease as being independent and needing no care or support; l attempting to give drugs which had already been given; l preparing drugs for oral administration for a patient who was nil by mouth; l being unfamiliar with equipment on the resuscitation trolley; l making four errors in relation to giving Heparin; l giving prescription eye drops, when not authorised, and giving them to the wrong patient; l failing to register patients and putting the wrong hospital number on a patient’s wristband.
Following an NMC hearing in November last year, at which Miss McKenzie was not present or represented, her fitness to practise was found impaired by reason of lack of competence. She was given a 12-month suspension order, according to the findings of the hearing which have now been released.
The hearing was told Miss McKenzie faced a raft of allegations in relation to her work on the renal ward and senior colleagues described how she “placed patients at risk every time she put them on dialysis”.
Others said that while Miss McKenzie was a very caring person who wanted to deliver good practice she was “out of her depth and lacking in ability” and was described as “getting muddled and panicked”.
Concerns about her performance were raised not only by those supervising her and other nursing staff, but also by patients on the renal unit receiving dialysis, who asked not to be treated by her.
The panel heard how the job on the renal ward was Miss McKenzie’s first substantive post after qualifying in 2005. She was required to complete a new starters programme which most nurses complete within three months, but after six months concerns remained about her ability as a registered nurse.
By December 2006 she had been placed on the Trust’s poor performance plan. She was diagnosed with dyslexia and poor short-term visual memory.
She was redeployed to a less acute area on ward 18 but she continued to make fundamental errors.
She became a healthcare assistant but even in this capacity concern was expressed about her competence and she left the Trust on November 30, 2008.
No evidence was given to the panel which gave it any concern that the hospital had acted inappropriately or unsympathetically towards Miss McKenzie.
A spokesman for the Foundation Trust, which runs Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke’s Hospital, said yesterday: “The Trust took appropriate action to safeguard patients and Miss McKenzie was managed in accordance with the Trust’s capability procedures and provided with extensive supervision and support.”