Papiya Mia Sircar 9711961
Allegations and Plea
The College alleged that the Member acted in a deceitful manner toward her employer, clients and the College; falsified records and inappropriately used a term, title or designation; used a name other than her name as noted on the Public Register; contravened a term, condition or limitation on her certificate of registration; and worked as a Registered Nurse while her certificate of registration was suspended. The College alleged that this conduct would be regarded as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional.
The Member admitted to the allegations, and the College and the Member jointly submitted an agreement to the following facts.
In October 2011, the Member was found guilty of professional misconduct. Her certificate of registration was suspended from October 2011 to March 2012. For one year after the suspension ended, she was required to notify all nursing employers of the Discipline Committee’s Order, and to notify the College of all employers in nursing within 14 days of resuming or commencing employment in a nursing position.
Following the 2011 Order, the Member provided a form to the College indicating that her employer was a nursing agency and that they had received a copy of the Discipline Order. On her renewal form in 2012 she listed the same agency as her employer, and in 2013 she listed the same agency and a coffee shop.
In August 2012, the College received a report that the Member had started working at a private dental surgery clinic in June 2009 and that she may have worked at the clinic while suspended. In January 2013, the College contacted Dr. A, the owner of the clinic, who confirmed that the Member had been working there as a RN since June 2009.
The College informed the Member that it had information that she may have breached the Order. She left several messages with the College in response, indicating that she was not currently employed at the clinic, her employment had been terminated in September 2009, she had not been practising nursing but was returning to active practice the following week, she had recently been hired back by the clinic, she had notified the clinic of the Order, she was within the 14-day window to report a new employer to the College, and she had provided the clinic with the necessary paperwork to comply with the Order. The Member also wrote a letter to the College with a more detailed account of this information. She submitted a form which contained false and misleading information, including that her employment start date at the clinic was February 19, 2013.
In fact, the Member began working as a RN at the clinic in June 2009 and worked there on a continuous basis until June 5, 2013. She provided nursing care to clients undergoing oral surgery, including performing pre-operative assessments, starting IVs, administering IV and oral medications, monitoring clients during surgery, providing post-operative care, and discharging clients.
The clinic’s advertising indicated that the Member held a Master of Science in Nursing. She did not possess this qualification. She possessed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
In October 2011, the Member provided Dr. A with a document purporting to contain her Public Register information. She had altered the information by using the last name, date of College registration, registration number and employment history of another College member.
Dr. A did not know that her certificate of registration had been suspended. While he was on vacation in February 2013, the Member sent him text messages requesting that he sign a form indicating that he was in receipt of a Discipline order. She texted that she had been through “crap” with the College in 2011/2012, that she needed a form signed by him, that she did not think she was ever sent the form by the College, that she would leave it on his desk for his return, that she told the College she was not working for him at present which was technically true since he was on holiday. She referred to the College as “Bureaucratic @$$holes” with “their knickers in such a knot”. She apologized to Dr. A for the fib.
Dr. A instructed his office manager to sign the form. Dr. A met with the Member on May 30, 2013. She confessed that her certificate of registration had been suspended from October 2011 to March 2012, that she had worked as a nurse throughout the suspension, and that she failed to inform Dr. A about the suspension. Her employment with the clinic was terminated soon after.
The Member admitted that she had engaged in all the conduct described. She was under personal and financial stress at the time, and this contributed to her extremely poor judgment and decision making.
The Panel found that the evidence supported findings of professional misconduct as alleged, and that the Member’s conduct would be considered to be disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional. It demonstrated a serious and persistent disregard for her professional obligations, and an element of dishonesty and deceit. Her conduct shames the Member and the profession, and it casts serious doubts on her moral fitness and inherent ability to discharge the higher obligations that the public expects of professionals.
Submissions on Order
The College and the Member jointly sought an oral reprimand and immediate revocation of the Member’s certificate of registration.
Mitigating factors included the Member’s personal and financial stress, and her expression of remorse and shame. Aggravating factors included the multiplicity of deceptions, the fact that the previous Order was breached the day after it was made, the Member’s repeated deceit when initially questioned by the College, and her complete disregard for the College’s regulatory process. The proposed penalty focusses on the consequences of ungovernability.
The Panel accepted the joint submission as reasonable and in the public interest. The Member accepted responsibility for her actions and cooperated with the College by agreeing to the facts and proposed penalty. The penalty satisfies the principles of specific and general deterrence, and public protection. Because the Member’s certificate of registration will be revoked, the goal of rehabilitation and remediation do not apply.