Concerns may be related to unethical conduct, incompetent practice or impaired practice. Unethical conduct is behaviour which violates ethical standards and expectations of professional behaviour. Incompetence is a pattern of behaviour that demonstrates a lack of ability to meet the Standards of Practice. Impaired practice may be a physical or mental ailment, an emotional disturbance or a substance abuse issue that impairs ability to practice.
A person demonstrating unsafe practice or unprofessional conduct may have no idea of wrong doing. They may rationalize that what they are doing is all right, or they may try to cover up something that puts client safety and wellbeing at risk.
Use the "Taking Action" worksheet to help organize your thoughts.
Decide if you want to discuss your concerns with the person involved. This can be a difficult decision. Ask yourself:
If you discuss your concerns with the person and the matter is resolved, it may not be necessary for you to take further action. If your concerns are not addressed or if you decide it would not be helpful to talk with the person involved:
Share information about the situation only with those who require it.
Recognize that details of internal investigations are confidential. Be patient. These problems often take time to investigate and resolve.
Your manager may need to report to the appropriate health regulatory body if the behaviour continues. You may need to report to the appropriate regulatory body if your concerns have not been dealt with and clients are at risk. The Duty to Report Practice Standard outlines this process. Inform your manager of your plan.
Reporting to the appropriate regulatory body is required when there is a reason to believe that there is a risk to clients if the person continues to practise.
B.C.’s health regulatory bodies each have a process for dealing with complaints about the health care professionals they regulate. Visit the BC Health Regulators website for more information.
Issues related to unregulated care providers are dealt with solely in the workplace.
Contact the CRNBC Nursing Concerns Coordinator
Nurses (Registered) and Nurse Practitioner Regulation
Health Professions Act (HPA)
For further information on the Standards of Practice or professional practice matters, contact us: