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Carey Lee Varga, 9041245
The Member admitted that she engaged in professional misconduct by failing to comply with a patient’s care plan and the direction of a charge nurse and clinical team. The Member did not provide the patient with an opportunity to de-escalate. The Member performed actions that contributed to an escalation in the patient’s behaviour and fed the patient while the patient was flat on their back in a four-point restraint, which placed the patient at a risk of choking.
Based on the Member’s admissions, the Panel found the Member:
- contravened a standard of practice of the profession or failed to meet the standards of practice of the profession; and
- engaged in conduct, relevant to the practice of nursing, that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional.
The College of Nurses of Ontario (“CNO”) and the Member presented the Panel with a Joint Submission on Order requesting that the Panel make an order that included the following:
- an oral reprimand;
- a 4-month suspension;
- terms, conditions and limitations, including:
- attending a minimum of 2-meetings with a Regulatory Expert; and
- employer notification for 12-months.
The Panel accepted the Joint Submission on Order, concluding that the proposed penalty was reasonable and in the public interest.
Aggravating factors considered by the Panel included:
- the offenses were very serious;
- harm was caused to the patient when the patient’s behaviours was escalated;
- the Member’s actions were contrary to the patient’s care plan and against advice of the Member’s colleagues;
- the events brought discredit to the profession; and
- the Member demonstrated disregard for her professional obligations.
Mitigating factors considered by the Panel included:
- the incidents were isolated to one day in the Member’s nursing career;
- the Member has been a member of the College for a significant period of time;
- there was one other minor discipline issue prior to these events;
- the Member was accountable and has taken responsibility for her actions; and
- the Member has engaged with the College by entering into an Agreed Statement of Facts and a Joint Submission on Order.