A Scots nurse whose “hostile and degrading’ treatment of a student led to him quitting the profession has been allowed to keep his registration.
Scott MacPherson repeatedly sexually harrassed a young male nurse who was on placement in the children’s unit at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.
An inquiry heard that the nurse suggested the student perform a sex act on him in order to gain a good assessment.
He made futher remarks of a sexual nature that left the student feeling “embarrassed and uncomfortable”.
Later during the shift the nurse continued to harrass the student saying he hadn’t received “payment”.
An inquiry by the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard that the student called in sick the next day as he could not face going back to work and sought advice from his student representative and parents.
He was advised to report the incident to DundeeUniversity and go back to the hospital in the hope the event was an isolated one.
However, on the day he returned he remarked that he had a sore neck and the older nurse offered to massage his neck.
The student declined and his mentor replied: “I don’t bite, unless they want me to”.
The student said he was “speechless” that it had happened again and so openly saying, “I just stared at my water bottle and wished that I could run out or disappear.” The incidents led to the student nurse leaving the profession.
When challenged, Mr MacPherson admitted making the comments but claimed they were not sexually motivated, describing them as “banter”.
However, five charges against McPherson were found proved during an inquiry by the Nursing and Midwifery Council which heard fromfive witnesses, including the student nurse, whose evidence was described as “credible”.
“The panel was of the view that the facts found proved had the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating and offensive environment for Student Nurse A and had the effect of violating his dignity.
“The panel noted that following that shift, he took absence on 4 May 2018 as he felt unable to attend due to the events on 3 May 2018.
“The panel also had regard to his oral evidence where he stated that he was left upset, uncomfortable, felt overwhelmed by the situation, and eventually left nursing.”
The NMC said it had given serious consideration to a striking off order but said it would be “unduly punitive” given the remorse Mr Macpherson had showed and he was suspended for six months.