The BC College of Nurses and Midwives on May 23, 2021, reached consent agreements with Euphemia Guttin
(agreement) and Victoria Weber
(agreement) to resolve complaints about their conduct and competence from 2016-2018 while working as registered nurses in senior leadership roles at the Garth Homer Society in Victoria, B.C. These agreements were reached after a lengthy and complex investigation that spanned approximately three years.
These registrants have had their nursing registration suspended for the past three years pursuant to an interim order of the BCCNM Inquiry Committee in May of 2018 during the course of the investigation into their nursing practice. As part of their consent agreements, Ms. Guttin agreed to a 15-month suspension and Ms. Weber agreed to an 18-month suspension as a result of their unprofessional conduct.
For both registrants, 12 months was considered “time served" given the length of time they were suspended pursuant to the interim order of the Inquiry Committee while the investigation was conducted. Both registrants must complete remedial education prior to a return to practice and will both have limits, conditions, and extensive oversight of their nursing practice for a significant period of time.
BCCNM is pleased with the outcome of this case. The significant penalty in the form of lengthy suspensions and subsequent limits and conditions on the registrants' nursing practice post suspension are in keeping with the serious nature of the registrants' unprofessional conduct. BCCNM is confident that should the registrants breach their professional and practice standards again, this level of oversight will ensure that problems are promptly reported to BCCNM so that, if necessary, further action can be taken.
And while BCCNM is pleased with the outcome of our investigation, we are taking the unusual step of highlighting these agreements as part of meeting our public protection mandate. We note that both registrants continue to work with the Garth Homer Society in senior leadership roles, delivering programming to over 250 adults with disabilities.
We would also like to recognize the significant time and resources that went into an exceptionally large and complex investigation arising from complaints made by three different members of the public, a former employee, and two issues that were investigated on the college's Own Motion. The complainants raised serious concerns about the care their family members received in the residential care program. These concerns were about the quality and safety of care delivered to their family members who are vulnerable adults, due to their cognitive, intellectual, and/or physical disabilities, and who could not effectively, or at all, advocate on their own behalf.
The college is highlighting these significant outcomes to also remind all nurses of their obligations to adhere to their Professional and Practice Standards when delivering direct patient care and when they are nursing in administrative roles.
BCCNM reminds nurses that when they are working in a role that may be largely administrative in nature, that they are still nursing and thus must meet Professional and Practice Standards. In particular, the College draws attention to the Professional Standard indicators for Administration:
We also remind all nurses that the client's needs and well being
must always be the priority. Within the nurse-client relationship, the client is often vulnerable because the nurse has more power than the client. The nurse must always be mindful of this imbalance.
Nurses in administrative roles must also meet
all Practice Standards. Of particular focus in this case are
Boundaries in the Nurse-Client Relationship, Consent,
Delegating Tasks to Unregulated Care Providers,
Duty to Provide Care. BCCNM offers
additional resources on these topics, including:
Lastly, BCCNM reminds registrants nursing in an administrative role that they must also ensure that they are familiar and compliant with other legislation, regulations, and policies that are relevant to their nursing role.
We encourage nurses to review these resources and to reach out if they have questions by emailing email@example.com.
Nurses who witness behaviour in another health professional that breaches standards have
a duty to report this behaviour.
Inquiries about this notice should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org