Saskatoon

Sask. nurse slapped with $26K fine after complaining about grandfather's care

A Prince Albert, Sask., nurse is facing a hefty fine after complaining about her grandfather's care on social media.

Carolyn Strom posted complaint on Facebook

Carolyn Strom was shocked to learn she was reported to the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses' Association over her Facebook post. (Facebook)

A Prince Albert, Sask., nurse is facing a hefty fine after complaining about her grandfather's care on social media.

In October, the discipline committee of the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses' Association found Carolyn Strom guilty of professional misconduct. Strom posted that staff caring for her grandfather weren't "up to speed" on palliative care or how to "help maintain an aging senior's dignity."

Some of the staff at St. Joseph's Health Centre in Macklin, Sask., complained that Strom's comments violated her professional obligations as a nurse. According to testimony at the discipline committee, staff felt the comments were humiliating and embarrassing.

$26,000 fine imposed

Now, the association has fined the nurse $26,000. Most of the money will go towards refunding the association for the cost of holding the hearing.

Strom will also have to write a self-reflective essay on what she did wrong, and how she will change her behaviour in the future.

She will also need to complete an online course on the Canadian Nurses Association's code of ethics.

The written decision noted the actual costs of the hearing were almost six times higher than the amount of money to be paid by Strom. 

The decision rejected Strom's argument that she should not have to pay any costs because the hearing should have been avoided through a consensual resolution agreement.  

The discipline committee declined to rule on whether one side or the other was to blame for the failed efforts to achieve a resolution without a hearing.

Originally, the nurses' association investigation committee had asked that Strom be fined $30,000 and that her lack of remorse should be seen as an aggravating circumstance. However, the discipline committee disagreed, writing that Strom showed accountability for her actions at the hearing.

Strom will need to pay the fine by 2020.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story said the two sides did not come together through mediation. This has been changed to reflect that the two sides failed to achieve a resolution without a hearing.
    Apr 19, 2017 10:08 AM CT

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