Nurse stole drugs from hospital cupboard

A FORMER nurse who stole drugs from the Queensland hospital where she worked has been publicly reprimanded for professional misconduct.

In 2018, police searched the nurse's home after being told vials of the drug fentanyl had been stolen from the hospital.

They found syringes, needles, broken vials labelled Diazepam and Serenone and unlabelled broken vials.

Police also found a box of Toradol ampoules in another person's name, as well as four empty boxes of the drug Tramadol in a kitchen bin, a tribunal heard.

The nurse admitted taking the drugs and other items from a hospital storage cupboard without permission.

In June 2018 the nurse pleaded guilty in a magistrates court to stealing as a servant and unlawful possession of restricted drugs.

She was sentenced to 10 months' probation, with a condition that she have psychological or psychiatric treatment. No convictions were recorded.

Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal was told at the time of the drug thefts the nurse had been suffering significant mental illness.

She had been referred to a psychiatrist for management of a mood disorder after suffering depression, anxiety, hallucinations and having attempted suicide.

In the month she committed the offences the nurse had gone to a mental health clinic at a public hospital and was prescribed medication by a psychiatrist.

The nurse, 30, who had been registered for 10 years, has not nursed for 18 months.

She told the Office of the Health Ombudsman she did not intend to return to a healthcare career.

The tribunal said the nurse's offending conduct related to her mental illness and soon after the police search she notified the Health Ombudsman's office.

If she was to apply for re-registration in future she would have to satisfy the Nursing and Midwifery Board of her fitness to practise, the tribunal said.





Originally published as Nurse stole drugs from hospital cupboard