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Senior abuse at B.C. care home leads to nurse's suspension

A senior had an electric razor put in his mouth to "keep him quiet."
Maple Ridge Seniors Village
Maple Ridge Seniors Village.

B.C.’s College of Nurses and Midwives has suspended a nurse’s registration for two months for failing to report resident abuse.

A college panel of inquiry said Barbara (Trish) Berg failed to comply with agency policy in her work at Maple Ridge Seniors Village and did not complete required incident forms.

Further, the July 14 decision said, Berg failed to engage with or respond to the college in its investigation.

A college citation said that, on Dec. 25 and 27, 2020, a registered care aide advised Berg she witnessed resident abuse where another aide made a fist at and put a resident in a chokehold.

On Dec. 27, 2020, an aide advised Berg of another abuse incident involving the same resident. An aide reported to Berg that on Dec. 18, 2020 she witnessed another aide putting an electric razor in a resident’s mouth three times to attempt to “keep him quiet.”

The decision said Berg had consented to the suspension, a public reprimand, remedial education on reporting abuse and protecting vulnerable adults, and payment of the college’s investigation costs.

The college is one of 18 regulatory bodies empowered under the Health Professions Act to regulate health professions in B.C. It regulates the practice of four distinct professions: nursing, practical nursing, psychiatric nursing and midwifery. 

Similar legislation in other self-regulated areas such as the legal and notary public professions also allows citizens to know about discipline issues in the public interest.

“The inquiry committee is satisfied that the conditions and terms of the order will protect the public,” the college said.