Nurse goes to theatre five times over limit

The tribunal heard the nurse had a blood alcohol reading of .260.
The tribunal heard the nurse had a blood alcohol reading of .260.

A NURSE who scrubbed up for surgery as part of a hospital anaesthetics team while drunk and was then charged with drink driving to work has been fined $2000 for professional misconduct.

Joanne Elizabeth Chambers had a blood alcohol reading of more than five times the legal limit two hours after arriving in the hospital theatre in March 2015, a tribunal heard.

Ms Chambers left the theatre and was found asleep in a recovery room 20 minutes after she was challenged by a scrub nurse about being drunk.

Police were called after Ms Chambers became agitated and aggressive, and she told them she had been drinking until 2am, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal was told.

Police had to handcuff Ms Chambers when she began swearing and pulling away from them, after being asked to provide a specimen of breath.

She was taken to Bundaberg Police Station, where she told police she had consumed a litre of wine the night before and had taken prescription medicine before driving to work.

She had a blood alcohol reading of .260, the tribunal heard.

Ms Chambers’ employment was terminated and the next month she pleaded guilty to drink driving and obstructing police while intoxicated.

The court was told she had been depressed and anxious as she had been working 12-hour shifts and had not seen her family as much as she wanted.

Although she was convicted and fined $1800, disqualified from driving and ordered to perform 60 hours of community service, she did not tell the national registration board of the convictions.

The tribunal said Ms Chambers had expressed remorse and had undergone rehabilitation treatment.

Topics:  drinking drunk nurse

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