Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - Panel hearing summary 2020.0878
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Panel hearing summary 2020.0878

Decision of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia

Performance and professional standards panel 

Jurisdiction: South Australia
Date of Decision: 17 December 2019

Classification of Notification

Boundary violation - Other inappropriate relationship (non-sexual)


The Board referred allegations that the Practitioner breached professional boundaries by engaging in a personal relationship (non-sexual) with a vulnerable patient to whom she had provided nursing care. The Practitioner hugged the patient while she was an inpatient at hospital, provided her contact number and/or details to the patient, engaged in communications with the patient subsequent to her discharge from hospital (the content and manner of which was inappropriate having regard to the therapeutic relationship and the particular vulnerability of the patient) and gifted the patient items. The Panel noted the Practitioner insisted her intentions in relation to the patient were genuine, that she was only trying to assist her and that she intended no harm. The Panel accepted that the relationship was not predatory and/or exploitative in nature.

The Panel found that the Practitioner had behaved in a way that constituted unprofessional conduct. The Panel reprimanded the Practitioner and imposed conditions on her registration requiring the Practitioner to undertake education in relation to ethics in nursing, maintenance of professional boundaries and management of vulnerable patients.

Page reviewed 22/08/2023