A fake nurse who treated patients at a New South Wales family practice has escaped jail time.
According to 9News, Belinda Elwell, 38-year-old, started working at a medical centre in October 2020 despite having no formal qualifications in nursing.
Belinda told the local clinic that she was a registered nurse and when the clinic requested for a copy of her Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia registration, she provided a false number on a sticky note.
Belinda resigned on December 8, 2020 after the centre once again requested a copy of her Board registration certificate.
She faced Magistrate’s court on 16 counts of claiming to be a medical practitioner.
The Magistrate said her actions were “deliberate deceit”.
“There was a real risk to those patients as a result of the fact you were not qualified in the role.”
Belinda escaped jail time and was fined $3000, with half to be paid to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). She was alos ordered to pay professional costs of $7200.
AHPRA CEO Martin Fletcher said he hoped this will send a strong message that pretending to be a registered health practitioner had significant consequences.
“We are committed to ensuring that such behaviour is dealt with and will act to protect the public.”
Belinda’s lawyer told the court she had been undertaking a TAFE course in care and “had some training in general first aid.”
She worked from October 13, 2020 to December 7, 2020 s- a total of 14 shifts attending to patients’ dressings, taking blood samples, administering immunisations, giving vaccinations by injection, and performing electrocardiograms.