Anti-vaccine nurses take note. You are on notice.

On June 3 2012 I wrote a post about a rather disturbing set of events pertaining to the harassment of a grieving family by a registered nurse. For background, I suggest reading the post:  Kerry Baker: Registered Nurse; AVN Supporter; Vilifier of Grieving Families.

It has just come to light that the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has investigated nurse Kerry Baker for her attack on that grieving family, coupled with her denigration of other health professionals.

In a decision handed down on April 24 2013 the Queensland Notifications Committee of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia found that Baker’s professional conduct was unsatisfactory, issuing a caution to Baker, whilst agreeing to an undertaking from Baker that she undergo an approved education program regarding acceptable professional boundaries. If Baker refuses to complete this program further action will be likely.

Here is the full text of Baker’s undertaking, from her public AHPRA registration page:

I, Kerry Jane Baker of QLD offer the following undertaking to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (the Board),

1) Within three (3) months of the acceptance of the undertaking, I will nominate to the Board (or its delegate) for approval, in writing, an education program (“the course”) addressing professional boundaries in the context of the scope of practice for registered nurses. In particular the course will cover all aspects of;a. The Code of Professional Conduct for Nurses in Australia.b. The Code of Ethics for Nurses in Australia.

2) Within twelve (12) months of the acceptance of the undertaking, I will satisfactorily complete the course and provide written evidence to the Board (or its delegate) of such satisfactory completion.

3) I authorise the Board (or its representative) and their approved educator to exchange information at such time or times as the Board (or its representative) shall determine for the purposes of monitoring compliance with these conditions.

4) Within 7 (seven) days of changing address, I will notify the Board in writing of that change.

I understand that this undertaking will remain in existence for 12 months commencing from the date it is accepted by the Board.

I also understand and acknowledge that if the Board accepts this offer, a failure to comply with the undertaking may result in health, performance or conduct action pursuant to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009 (Qld).

Baker AHPRA search result and registration number
Given the unfortunate number of nurses and midwives who like to spread anti-vaccination misinformation, and denigrate their colleagues, the results of this investigation are welcome. The community expects better, and they demand it. And, now, these anti-vaccine professionals are on notice.

Of note, in the membership survey recently conducted by the anti-vaccination pressure group, the Australian Vaccination Network, it was found that 9% of the 445 respondents were nurses. I’m serious. Find another job, people.

Remember, nurses are among the most trusted of professions. Seriously, who doesn’t love nurses? What Baker did was despicable. I hope she has learned from it. It’s a shame she felt the compulsion to cause so much pain due to her beliefs.

About reasonable hank

I'm reasonable, mostly.
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20 Responses to Anti-vaccine nurses take note. You are on notice.

  1. Epi Ren says:

    This is somewhat troubling to me, Hank. Vaccination is an acceptable medical practice used to protect the public’s health. If a nurse doesn’t believe in it, and, in fact, is activist about being anti-vaccine, what reasonable expectation can the public have that she will act in the best interest of the public should the need to mass vaccinate (or something similar) come about? If people go to her for advice during an emergency (e.g. flu pandemic), can she be trusted to give the proper advice? If a medical system employing her participates in a mass vaccine campaign like the one that happened in Swansea, Wales, can she be trusted to give proper information and vaccinate as necessary? I believe these are valid questions that require an answer.

    • Precisely my concerns. Even if these anti-vaccine ‘professionals’, including some notable chiropractors, are not active and open in their beliefs; what the hell are they saying to clients/patients in the privacy of a clinical setting?

  2. Andy says:

    I thought Baker’s registration has lapsed. If not, then a short course in professional conduct would seem to be the very least that she needs. What about a full course in nursing and medicine, including some information about vaccines? She seemed to miss it all last time around.

  3. tuxcomputers says:

    Oh god, my brother in law lives in Tambourine Mountain, I will need to warn him that there is a nutbag nurse that does not believe in science up there.

  4. As a nurse who does practice according to science based medicine principles, and a nurse who is continually headdesking with colleagues who are anti-vax, this is a welcome start.
    It heartens me that the various Boards, Councils (depending on what state you are registered in) and indeed AHPRA take this sort of unprofessionalism seriously.

    Thanks Hank

  5. I read back you previous post about this ‘nurse’. She posed the question about how could someone who doesn’t have the disease pass it on. Clearly, she’s never heard of Typhoid Mary then! Here was a woman who passed on the disease of Typhoid, all the while never showing a symptom herself.
    She also claimed to have suffered Shingles in her 30s due to ‘there being no wild chicken pox around to boost’ her immunity. What an idiot! The reason she suffered Shingles (if she really ever did) is because she suffered Chicken Pox as a child. It lays dormant in your nerves and at time it will come back as Shingles many years later. Those who were vaccinated against Chicken Pox as children and who never actually suffered the disease will not have Shingles.
    And she calls herself a ‘nurse’! I think they should have deregistered her and ordered her back to University to qualify all over again.

  6. Sarah says:

    This woman is really disgraceful. Thanks to everyone who made a formal complaint about her conduct. I shudder to think of how upsetting it must’ve been for the McCaffreys to receive those repugnant communications.

  7. I don’t get how she can have gone through all the medical training and saw how science is done and still can not see how unreasonable the antivax movement is. She has a credulous mind I feel, she has a conspiracy paranoia outlook and it would seen an inability to think with logic and apply evidence.

  8. Luke says:

    When blaming her it is also worth remembering that the system that taught her supports rubbish like therapeutic touch.

    • Andy says:

      This is something that frustrates me as, like you, I feel it lies at the heart of the problem. The TGA “list” homeopathic and other “remedies” as if they are medicines. The TGA know homeopathy is nonsense but take no action if no one complains – and even then, they take no meaningful action. The end result is that anyone going into an Aussie pharmacy is led to believe these “remedies” are legitimate. And why would anyone doubt the credibility of the homeopath who openly advertises services in the local press? If the TGA don’t mind, they surely must be okay.

      Similarly, homeopathy, chiropractic and other alternative “therapies” are taught in colleges and universities. So if it’s possible to get qualifications in practices which are fundamentally opposed to evidence-based medicine, why should anyone doubt a nurse who shares those anti-vax views? Maybe she’s right. Maybe she’s able to think outside the square and include evidence from other therapeutic practices into her nursing. How can it be fair to allow the teaching and listing of nonsense therapies but, at the same time, discipline someone who supports or uses them in a different area of the health sector?

      We need government watchdogs who do more than just watch. They need to bark and they need teeth.

    • Yes I have become aware that this is being taught. WTF is all I can say, what is our health system coming to!

  9. Sue says:

    There’s also that RN who practises homeopathy and posts nonsense about ”homeopathic vaccination” on her website.

  10. This Baker woman is a repulsive creature. I am glad that a professional board took some sort of action.

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