A registered nurse who hung up on callers to a national
helpline has been found guilty of professional misconduct.
Senia Kelemete, 43, of Auckland was found guilty of the
charge by the Health Practitioner's Disciplinary Tribunal
today in Wellington.
The decision related to her conduct over an eight-month
period two years ago.
It was found that between May 2011 and January 6, 2012,
Kelemete - who worked from home - terminated nearly 50 calls
without reason. She was dismissed in February last year after
six years with the company.
Some of the calls she took were as short as three seconds.
Others were terminated while people were describing their
symptoms. It was also found that Kelemete hung up on some
callers after greeting them.
On one occasion, she terminated a call from a woman concerned
about a 17-year-old friend who had been diagnosed with
septicaemia and had missed two days worth of penicillin
The caller said her friend had chest pain over her heart.
After greeting the patient, all nurses working on the
helpline are taught to rule out symptoms that indicate
whether they are in immediate danger.
It was found Kelemete terminated the call before doing so.
Evidence from her computer and call logs showed she had not
attempted to call back any of the people she had hung up on,
despite having access to most of their numbers.
Tribunal chairman David Carden said Kelemete's behaviour had
amounted to malpractice.
Mr Carden said there had also been an element of negligence
in her work, which could bring discredit to the nursing
The tribunal adjourned to consider appropriate disciplinary
action against Kelemete, who was not present at today's