An aged care nurse that went to work while feeling ill and awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test has had her nursing registration suspended.
Enrolled nurse Patricia Bergin was found guilty of engaging in professional misconduct by the State Administrative Tribunal when she went to work at Collie’s Valley View Aged Care Centre in Western Australia on July 24, 2020.
According to the tribunal, Ms Bergin had only been working as an EN for two months at the time of the incident and she has since expressed remorse.
It is believed that Ms Bergin informed her employer that she could not go to work because she was experiencing cold-like symptoms when her employer told her to get a PCR test and stay away from work until she received confirmation that the test result was negative.
This occurred on July 21, but Ms Bergin then chose to go to work on July 24 without having received her test results.
Ms Bergin cared for more than 60 vulnerable aged care residents on her July 24 shift, with the tribunal describing her actions as “a disregard for the principles of public health and community safety during the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Ms Bergin was stood down from her job at Collie’s Valley View Aged Care Centre, two weeks after the incident, and the tribunal noted that she pled guilty to breaching the rules and co-operated with the investigation.
The tribunal also heard that Ms Bergin intends to continue studying towards an undergraduate degree in registered nursing.