Nurse who attacked colleague given three-year caution

Karen Setter can still practice, but future employers will be told about the caution.

A NURSE has been given a three-year caution for launching an attack on another medic, swearing and slapping her hard across the face – in a care home for seriously ill patients.

Karen Jean Setter flew in to a rage after discovering a fellow nurse on an unscheduled break, throwing a set of keys at her and repeatedly yelling four-letter words.

The incident happened at Dee View Court, Aberdeen, which cares for people with serious brain injuries and disorders including multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease.

The nurse was not present at the hearing of the Nursing and Midwifery Council in Edinburgh today, where she was found guilty.

On Thursday, Nurse Mavis Samson gave evidence about the events of January 2010, her voice frequently cracking with emotion.

She said she had to take her tea break later than usual “due to residents’ demands”,  but ensured other staff were sufficiently covered.

“I went on my break knowing that there would be sufficient assistance. There were no emergencies that I was aware of.”

Ms Samson said she was in the tea room when “Karen Setter burst in with some force, stood in the entrance and looked at me”.

She added: “She appeared angry and red faced. She shouted I was not supposed to be on my break at that time.

“I was surprised at the way she was talking to me. I remained calm and told her I was still on my break. She became even angrier after that.

“She souted at me words to the effect of f*** off and said she was tired of folks who didn’t take their breaks on time.”

Ms Samson said the nurse thew the keys to the drug cupboard at her.

“The keys hit me with some force on the abdomen. I was very upset and told her she must not treat me like this and she must stop.”

Ms Samson said the keys were left on the floor and, in a another part of the home, she reminded Ms Setter of this.

“She looked red faced and angry,” said Ms Samson. “She stood very close to me, invading my personal space, and shouting she was ‘tired of your f****** attitude.”

“She repeatedly shouted ‘f***.’ I was very intimidated.

“I walked away because I was scared and did not want confrontation.

“She then slapped me once very hard on the left hand side of my face.

“I was very shocked… ‘Why, why?’ I asked.”

Other staff members then came to help, and Ms Setter tried to leave, she said.

The home’s managers were told about the incident.

Ms Samson said she was ‘extremely upset and crying’ after the attack

The NMC said in a statement: “The panel has considered this case very carefully and has decided to make a Caution Order.

“The panel notes that there was no evidence of actual direct patient harm.  The panel determined that Ms Setter admitted the facts to the Care Centre Manager and at Ms Setter’s disciplinary hearing.

“The panel noted that Ms Setter expressed regret shortly after the incident.  The panel noted that this was an isolated incident and that Ms Setter had demonstrated prior good history.

“The panel also noted there were positive testimonials, and that there has been no repetition of the behaviour.”

A nurse or midwife with a caution order can still practise, but the NMC will tell future employers about the caution.