Nurse Pleads Not Guilty to Charge of Professional Misconduct


Registered nurse Carolyn Strom of Macklin, Saskatoon is charged with professional misconduct after a post she made on Facebook about the death of her grandfather. 

 Strom's grandfather died in January 2015. In February of 2015 she posted a comment on Facebook applauding and criticizing the palliative care staff at St. Joseph's Health Facility in Macklin.


Another registered nurse who read the post reported Strom to the  Saskatchewan Registered Nurses' Association (SRNA). She was charged with a violation of confidentiality, failure to follow proper channels, impact on reputation of facility and staff, failure to first obtain all the facts, and using status of registered nurse of personal purposes under the Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses.

Because the incident could not be agreed upon by either party, it was sent for a public disciplinary hearing that took place last week. Strom pled not guilty. 

Strom's attorney Marcus Davies stated that the SRNA called witnesses to represent St. Joseph's and the witnesses claimed that Strom's comments "hurt their feelings". Davies said that shouldn't impact the violation of confidentiality.

"The only people who have ever brought this up are the SRNA, not the grandfather's executors, his estate, his power-of-attorney, which is Carolyn's mother," Davies said.

Strom testified during the hearing explaining how she uses social media to discuss health issues.

"When the prosecutor was so crass to ask her why she didn't ask for her grandfather's permission to post it to Facebook, she burst into tears and said because he was dead. That was a heartless and cruel moment," Davies said.

The decision will not be made for several months. 

What do you think about this?  Do you think Strom deserves to be disciplined?  Did she break patient confidentiality discussing her grandfather's death? 

This should serve as a reminder to all nurses to check your privacy settings and know who your friends are.  Be careful not to friend people on Facebook that you don't trust.

Source: CBC News