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Susan E. Muzylowsky HC03182
Allegations and Plea
The College alleged that the Member committed acts of professional misconduct in that she made a number of inappropriate and demeaning comments to, and in the presence of, clients; made inappropriate and demeaning comments about clients to her colleagues; failed to provide appropriate and timely care to clients; repositioned a client in a rough manner; failed to identify herself to a client; turned off clients’ televisions against their wishes; failed to maintain appropriate nurse/client boundaries with clients; failed to establish and maintain collegial relationships with colleagues; falsified a record; and deliberately administered pain medication to a client in manner that caused the client pain. The College alleged that this conduct constituted abuse and would be regarded as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional. The College also alleged that the Member sexually abused clients in that she engaged in behavior and made remarks of a sexual nature to clients and engaged in touching of a sexual nature of clients.
The Member admitted to the allegations. The College and the Member jointly submitted an agreement to the following facts.
The Member was employed as a full-time RPN on night shifts at a Facility. In 2014, the Member made a number of inappropriate and demeaning comments to or in the presence of clients of the facility on more than one occasion. May of the comments were sexual in nature. Between January and July 2014, the Member made a number of inappropriate comments about clients to colleagues, which also included comments that were sexual in nature.
Between January and August, 2014, the Member failed to administer medications as ordered, ignored requests for medication, and refused medication requests from clients. In one instance, the Member deliberately administered pain medication in a manner that caused the client pain. On another occasion, the Member charted that she administered a medication when she did not. On three occasions between April and July 2014, the Member rolled a client in a rough manner during care, causing her pain, and did not identify herself. The client was visually impaired. In June or July 2014, the Member turned off clients’ televisions against their wishes. In 2014, while providing care, the Member referred to clients as “mama”, and “papa”, told clients, “I love you”, and hugged and/or kissed clients. The Member also touched or spanked the buttocks of six clients. The Member also used derogatory names and phrases to refer to her colleagues and did not demonstrate respect for her colleague’s roles, expertise or contributions.
The Panel found that the facts supported a finding of professional misconduct. The Member made a number of inappropriate and demeaning comments to clients, inappropriate and demeaning comments about client’s to colleagues, and failed to provide appropriate and timely care to clients. This conduct breached the standards of practice. This conduct was also abusive, and some of it constituted sexual abuse of clients. The conduct included falsification of a record. The Panel also found the conduct alleged to be deplorable and showed a blatant disregard for the morals and ethics of the profession.
The panel also found that Member’s conduct was disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional, as it showed a serious disregard for the Member’s professional obligations and had elements of emotional, physical, verbal and sexual abuse.
Submissions on Order
The College sought an oral reprimand.
The Member resigned from the College in December 2015. The Member signed an undertaking stating that the Member would not pursue any employment in nursing in the future. College Counsel submitted that the undertaking would protect the public as it ensured the Member’s resignation was permanent.
The panel concluded that the proposed penalty was reasonable and in the public interest. The Member cooperated with the College, by agreeing to the facts and a proposed penalty, and accepting responsibility for her actions. She agreed to never return to practice. A reprimand satisfied the obligation of specific deterrence.
The Panel found that a permanent resignation was the ultimate public protection. There was general deterrence to the membership through the publication of the findings of the Panel demonstrating that such conduct would not be tolerated, and that resignation was not a way to avoid one’s professional obligations.