A seasoned nurse has been fired for offering to pray with patients prior to surgery.
Sister Sarah Kuteh has been a nurse for 15 years. She was terminated from her position at Darent Valley hospital in Dartford, Kent for breaching guidelines, even though she was required to ask patients about their religion during their pre-op time.
Kuteh has secured an attorney and plans to sue the hospital for unfair termination. She just wanted to offer patients the opportunity to pray with her or discuss their religious beliefs before going under the knife. She said her firing was ‘disproportionate and punitive’.
Kuteh was devastated when security came to her floor and escorted her off the premises, forbidding her to say goodbye to her co-workers. She
She said: ‘It was embarrassing for me – and painful after all I had done in my years as a nurse. I was told I couldn’t even speak to my colleagues. All I had done was to nurse from my heart. How could it be harmful to tell someone about Jesus?’
But her superiors and Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust claim her ‘unwanted discussions’ were annoying patients and she had ignored warnings from her boss that her behavior was unacceptable.
Nurse Kuteh, is a Christian who began her nursing career in London and then moved to Dartford in 2007. In 2012 She became a sister while employed in the intensive care department.
She began working in pre-op in 2015 and was required to question patients about their religion prior to surgery.
She said she realized that she did not have patient consent to discuss personal beliefs with patients when she began working in pre-op, but said she was more aware once she was given a warning.
Mrs Kuteh said it was not her intent to imposed her religious beliefs on others, but she did tell them how her faith had helped her.
One patient said she felt uncomfortable when she gave her a Bible, even though the patient insisted that she didn't want one. Another patient was annoyed that Mrs Kuteh said she would pray for her. Several days later Kuteh was fired and her appeals for re-hire have been denied.
Mrs Kuteh has teamed up with the Christian Legal Center and they plan on meeting with the Trust to inform them that the disciplinary process was unfair and mishandled.
The trust said: ‘We have a duty to our patients that when they are at their most vulnerable they are not exposed to unsolicited beliefs and/ or views, religious or otherwise. We feel we have acted appropriately in this case.’