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Nurse fined for speaking out on Facebook

Carolyn StromREGINA – The Saskatchewan nurse found guilty of professional misconduct for writing on Facebook about her grandfather’s healthcare experience has been slapped with a $26,000 fine.

In February 2015, Carolyn Strom (pictured) posted her opinions on the treatment of her grandfather. She criticized the long-term care home where he was staying and felt the care was inadequate.

Members of the care home then complained to the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association (SRNA), which resulted in a professional misconduct hearing.

In a written decision in March, the SRNA ordered Strom to pay a $1,000 fine plus $25,000 toward the cost of the disciplinary process – which has already cost in the ballpark of $150,000.

Strom’s lawyer, Marcus Davies, said he is saddened and angered by the hefty penalty and is filing an appeal.

The SRNA has given Strom until July 1 to pay the $1,000 fine and three years to pay the $25,000, which works out to payments of more than $700 a month. If Strom fails to pay by those times, her nursing licence will be suspended.

Davies calls the penalty “absolutely devastating” and said Strom has “no choice” but to appeal.

Meanwhile, Toronto lawyer Amani Oakley was so outraged at the disciplinary action taken against Carolyn Strom for complaining publicly about her grandfather’s care at the nursing home, she’s donating $2,000 to help her.

Ms. Oakley told the National Post newspaper, “I think we are really in need of people who are willing to come forward like this, and this seems like such a wrong-headed move, and very contrary to the requirement of the (SRNA) to be on the lookout for patient care and patient safety.”

A GoFundMe page has also been launched in Strom’s name. In just over a week, over $22,000 has been raised to help her pay the penalty levied against her by the SRNA.

The campaign states that, “As nurses, nursing students and nursing faculty in Canada, we are deeply disturbed by the SRNA’s treatment of Carolyn Strom and wish to show our solidarity.”

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3 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    April 20, 2017

    This is outrageous. As a fellow nurse and former resident of Saskatoon I cannot believe SRNA would deliver such a high handed judgement against one of their members. This sets such a dangerous president for whistleblowers in all professions. I’m so glad to see others agree. Would this outcome happen in other (male dominated) profession? I think not.

    Reply

  2. Avatar
    April 20, 2017

    I do not understand how it can be professional misconduct to speak out about inadequate care given to a loved one. I think The SRNA has it wrong and the message it sends is that nurses cannot speak out about poor care. That is just wrong at many levels.

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  3. Avatar
    April 21, 2017

    Not really understanding the particulars of the case….but this seems pretty wrong!

    Reply

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