Tape assault nurse isn't threat to other patients, court told
A NURSE who admitted taping the mouth of a patient wasn't a threat to other patients and it would be "a severe blow" if he was banned from the profession, a psychiatric report has found.
Filipino native Bimbo Paden (39) admitted one count of assault following the incident at St John's hospital in Sligo.
The victim, Kevin Quinn, (49), from Ballymote, Co Sligo, has been a patient there for 13 years after suffering a brain haemorrhage.
A previous court hearing heard how Mr Paden had been 90 minutes into his shift on June 26 last year, helping nine patients on his own, when Mr Quinn was shouting and upsetting a patient with throat cancer.
The nurse said he had placed the tape over Mr Quinn's mouth "for a few seconds" after failing to calm him by rubbing his shoulders.
At Sligo District Court yesterday Judge Kevin Kilrane asked Paden's solicitor Mark Mullaney to read out a psychiatric report prepared on his client.
In her clinical assessment Dr Patricia Noone said she found the nurse had suffered enormous distress as a result of his actions.
Mr Paden, she said, was ashamed about his actions, and had suffered stress and depression as a result.
Dr Noone described the nurse as "gentle, caring, quiet and pleasing."
She said that although he was entitled to two 20-minute breaks each day, he rarely took these because of the pressure he was under at the hospital.
She reported that Mr Paden's "natural tendency was to put up with it" when it came to work and she concluded lack of staff had contributed to the taping incident.
He was particularly anxious that there was no lasting effect on Mr Quinn as a result of his actions, Ms Noone's report said.
Since the incident he rarely left his home, fearing he would be attacked in the street but found when he did so, he had the support of his neighbours and parish priest.
His 10-year-old daughter had been asked about her father by schoolfriends, said the report, and Paden was devastated about the effects of the case on his wife and family.
He was particularly anxious that his elderly parents never found out about the assault.
As Mr Paden sat sobbing in court, Mr Mullaney told the hearing that Dr Noone believed his client "would not be an ongoing risk in his work as a nurse in the future. It is my opinion that it would be a severe blow to himself (Paden) and his family if he should be deprived of his career."
Mr Mullaney said his client, from River Road in Sligo, was keen to have the case concluded yesterday.
However, Judge Kevin Kilrane said he wanted to consider the report alongside that of a damning internal HSE investigation, which found the hospital was under-staffed and under-supervised.
Sentence was adjourned until later this month.