Nurse suspended over medication mix-up at hospital
- Credit: Archant
A nurse has been suspended after a regulator found an incident at an Essex hospital amounted to misconduct.
Tecla Munjodzi, who was working as an agency nurse at Broomfield Hospital in October 2017, failed to give a vulnerable patient her afternoon dose of intravenous antibiotics, a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel heard.
However, Munjodzi admitted signing the patient’s chart to say medication had been given when it had not, and later forged a counter-signature to suggest these actions had been checked by a colleague, when they had not.
By signing the chart, the panel found Munjodzi had been dishonest and had intended to create the false impression that the medication had been administered. The nurse admitted forging the signature was dishonest, with the intention of creating the false impression that the actions had been checked by a fellow worker.
Chaired by William Nelson, the NMC panel found Munjodzi’s conduct was impaired and handed down a six-month suspension order.
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This was imposed alongside an interim suspension order of 18 months.
In a statement provided to the hospital’s investigation of the incident, On reflection, Munjodzi was unable to confirm whether the patient was given her prescribed IV antibiotics.
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“I might have got distracted because one of my allocated patients required immediate attention,” Munjodzi said.
“The ward was very busy, I was under intense amount of pressure.
“I remember being very tired and exhausted.”
Siobhan Caslin, who represented the NMC, told the hearing that “dishonesty in record keeping is a concern of the upmost seriousness, and calls into question the integrity of the nursing profession as a whole”.
She invited the panel to find Munjodzi’s actions were serious, and amounted to misconduct.
The panel found they resulted in a risk of harm to the patient, who was vulnerable and nearing the end of her life, and said Munjodzi had provided little or no explanation for the behaviour.
However, the panel considered a number of mitigating factors, including the fact that Munjodzi admitted most of the charges very early on, and had demonstrated remorse.