Nurse who pushed elderly patient found guilty of professional misconduct

Employee at Peamount Healthcare showered man with his trousers on, inquiry hears

Fitness-to-practise hearing: the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland in Blackrock. Photograph: Eric Luke

Fitness-to-practise hearing: the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland in Blackrock. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

A nurse who pushed an elderly, intellectually disabled patient has been found guilty of professional misconduct.

Nora Bernadette Regan Territt, who worked at Peamount Healthcare, a residential care facility in Milltown, Newcastle, Co Dublin, was the subject of a fitness-to-practise hearing at the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland in Blackrock, Co Dublin, on Thursday.

The nurse was also found guilty of non-compliance with the nurses’ professional code of conduct.

The inquiry heard that on August 8th, 2014, Ms Regan Territt pushed or shoved the patient, referred to as Resident A, two times – once towards his bedroom and once into the bathroom – after she found that he had soiled his bed.

It was also claimed that she roughly pushed him on to the toilet, and then roughly pulled his shirt over his head so that faeces fell on to his head. She then began showering him with his trousers still on.

The nurse also said to Resident A, who was aged 94 at the time, “I am sick of this”, after he complained loudly of stomach pains following lunch.

Resident A had a moderate level of intellectual disability and had lived at the nursing home for many years, the inquiry heard.

Pearl Tynan, a former healthcare assistant at the nursing home, said she witnessed Ms Regan Territt treating Resident A roughly on August 8th.

She said that Resident A often experienced stomach pain at the time, and on the day in question he began to complain vocally about this following lunch. She said Ms Regan Territt told him: “I’ve had enough of this. I’m sick of this.”

Ms Tynan said Ms Regan Territt stood behind Resident A with one hand on his back and one hand on his arm.

“It looked like he was kind of being pushed rather than assisted,” she said.

Screams

That evening, after dinner, Ms Regan Territt went to Resident A’s room to assist him. Ms Tynan said she went to get a wheelchair for him and when she got to his room, she heard screams from the bathroom.

She saw Resident A on the toilet and Ms Regan “hosing him down” with the shower and trying to take his shirt off with one hand.

“I don’t think it was done in a gentle manner,” said Ms Tynan, adding that Resident A was screaming and trying to get up, but the nurse put her hand on his shoulder.

“It was horrible. I was really angry,” Ms Tynan told the inquiry.

Describing Resident A, Ms Tynan said he was often screaming, cursing and complaining.

“Resident A is a very small, frail man,” she said. “He’s a bit of a character. He would always go around cursing and shouting. He’s a little charmer as well.”

Ms Regan Territt, from Dublin, qualified as a nurse in 1979. She was not present at the inquiry and was not legally represented. She worked at Peamount Healthcare from 2008 to 2015, although she was suspended following the incident.

However, in a letter read out during the hearing, she described events from her perspective, saying that on the day in question, she had gone into Resident A’s bedroom and saw that he had soiled the bed. She wrote that she then tried to shower him and calm him down, adding that Resident A had a tendency to smear faeces on the wall at times.

During Peamount’s investigation into the matter, Ms Regan Territt maintained that she did not behave in an aggressive manner. She apologised for the incident and promised it would not happen again, the inquiry heard.