British Columbia

B.C. nurse barred for sexual misconduct had given 'unwanted' massages before

Gary Dromarsky isn't allowed to reapply for a nursing licence for at least five years.

Regulator says Gary Dromarsky's actions fall 'at the most serious end of the spectrum'

Gary Dromarsky, a home and foot care nurse, has lost his licence to work after sexually assaulting a 73-year-old patient, according to a CRNBC agreement. (Facebook)

A former nurse on Vancouver Island has lost his licence for sexually assaulting a 73-year-old private client, according to the College of Registered Nurses of B.C. — and it's not the first time he's been in trouble for "unwanted" massages before, the provincial regulator says.

Gary Dromarsky touched the woman's vaginal area during a home visit for foot care on Sept. 14, 2017, according to an agreement posted online.

At the time, he was a home and community care nurse with Vancouver Island Health, but also ran a private foot care practice.

The CRNBC launched an investigation after the patient's brother complained.

The same agreement, part of the regulator's complaint resolution, said Dromarsky was reprimanded for massaging clients when he visited them for other treatments in 2009. At the time, he said he'd been trying to help but "missed cues indicating the massages were unwanted."

A notice said Dromarsky's "completely unacceptable" behaviour "fell at the most serious end of the spectrum of misconduct" — both sexual and professional.

Dromarsky has not been charged criminally in relation to any of the cases reviewed by the college.

Patient's brother complains

The CRNBC said it received two complaints about Dromarsky in late September 2017: one from the 73-year-old woman's brother and one from Dromarsky's manager. 

During the investigation, the patient said Dromarsky touched her under her underwear.

The nurse said he hadn't touched the woman's vaginal area, but admitted that the massage was "out of scope."

He was temporarily banned from private home visits after that, even as the investigation continued.

However, Dromarsky still saw two private clients in their homes in the weeks after that — and didn't admit to seeing them until investigators presented him with evidence.

The CRNBC effectively barred him from working as a registered nurse for breaching the ban on Dec. 21, 2017.

Officials continued their investigation and posted its final decision, cancelling Dromarsky's licence, on March 27.

He isn't allowed to reapply for a nursing licence for at least five years. If he tries, he'll have to prove "the requirement for good character." 

Previous 'massages'

A public notice about Dromarsky's case says he'd given "unwanted" massages to clients before.

The nurse agreed to remedial education, chart audits and a learning plan in relation to two incidents in 2009. He explained that he'd been trying to help his clients, but "missed cues" that they didn't want to be massaged.

The CRNBC said that, in light of Dromarsky's history, cancelling his licence was "the only appropriate" course of action to protect the public.

The regulator said Victoria police, Island Health and the Ministry of Health have been made aware of the case.

Victoria police said it can't comment about any potential cases to protect the integrity of an investigation.

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