A nurse has been sacked after calling a baby a “fat b******” and branding a new mum a “scummy junkie”.
Karen Edith Cunningham, who had worked as a nurse for 30 years, made the comments while working at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee between April and May 2018.
An investigation found she had also made errors when administering medication to young people and had deliberately ignored monitor alarms for baby patients while leaving student staff members to deal with them, the Daily Record reports.
At a Nursing and Midwifery Council hearing, it was said that Cunningham – who admitted all the charges against her – had become “disengaged”, “disinterested” and “didn’t care” about her job which led to her behaviour.
In separate incidents, she called a newborn a “fat b******”, another a “fatso”, while dubbing a third a “retard”.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council was told that when dealing with another baby, the former nurse said: “Stick it on the fat girls a***.”
After making comments on the physical appearance of a parent, Cunningham called another mum “scummy junkie”.
Referring to a woman who had a genetic condition that had been passed onto her baby, Cunningham said that “some people shouldn’t be allowed to have children” – adding that some people should be “sterilised”.
Her former colleagues claimed they were also subjected to abuse and one fellow nursing staff member said that when she made a mistake, Cunningham said: “Wait, are you Irish. That explains it.”
Cunningham admitted behaving in an unprofessional and inappropriate way towards patients in the clinical area and is said to be “ashamed” by her actions.
She was fired by the hospital in August 2018 and has since been working in a supermarket while studying at college.
The panel found that Cunningham’s fitness to practise was impaired as a result of her misconduct.
She has had conditions placed on her registration for the next 18 months, which mean she must be supervised if she begins working as a nurse again.
She must also submit a reflective piece exploring unconscious bias and reflecting upon the role this may have played in the language and comments that she made.
The nurse must also meet regularly with her bosses while only working for one medical centre at a time.