Nurse who asked 87-year-old Northampton care home resident how she could 'sit there' with her private parts 'hanging out' reprimanded by disciplinary board.
A nurse with an otherwise "unblemished career" has had conditions placed on her right to practice after she asked a care home patient how she could "sit there" with her private parts "hanging out."
The Nursing and Midwifery Council has made nurse Maureen Tavengwa subject to a number of conditions following the incident on January 2 when she was working at, The Angela Grace Care Centre in Cheyne Walk.
The matter was referred to the disciplinary body by her employers at the time, who said Ms Tavengwa "inappropriately handled" an 87-year-old woman suffering from dementia on that day. She was suspended by the care home after the incident.
The resident, who was described as having "limited English" and was experiencing difficulty in communicating generally, was found sitting "semi-naked on a chair," outside the nurses’ station on the day.
But it was alleged Mrs Tavengwa walked up to her "grabbed her by the arm and pulled her off the chair and said 'how can you sit there with your ***** hanging out?' or words to that effect."
Following the remark, Mrs Tavengwa walked the resident forcibly back to her room.
Following a hearing on December 1 and 2, a disciplinary board of the NMC said the nurse's fitness to practise was impaired by the misconduct.
However, in a letter submitted to the hearing back in February, 2015, Mrs Tavengwa denied using those words.
She told the panel that she asked the 87-year-old: “Why are you sitting exposed like that, you will catch a cold, let’s go and get you dressed.”
She also said that she did not grab the resident as charged, but supported her by "holding her arm" and then "assisted her " to another chair.
But the NMC panel found the testimony of two witnesses to be "credible" enough to impose conditions on Mrs Tavengwa's licence for 12 months.
The panel were also unable to accept that, after living in the UK for 17 years, and with grown up children, the nurse did not know the word she used could also be construed as a slang reference to female genitals.
However the NMC report produced after the hearing said the nurse had an otherwise "unblemished career," had positive testimonials from her current employer and was working in a pressurised environment at the time of the incident.
"She has since changed her job and now works in a more supportive environment," the report adds.
A spokeswoman for the Angela Grace Care Centre, said: “We wish to be crystal clear that, from our professional perspective, Mrs Tavengwa’s conduct was unacceptable.
"Having thoroughly investigated the behaviour she displayed towards a resident, we had no hesitation in determining dismissal was the only appropriate outcome.
“We expect all our staff, especially nurses, to treat the residents at this care home with the greatest respect and to show kindness and compassion at all times.”