A NURSE sobbed as she admitted taking a bottle of morphine home and told a hearing: “It was stupid and irresponsible and dishonest.”
Tracy Buck said a colleague encouraged her to take the powerful painkiller with her as they destroyed medication at the Broom Lane Care Home in Rotherham on January 29 last year.
Buck later admitted stealing a bottle of morphine at Rotherham Magistrates Court, the Nursing and Midwifery Council has heard.
She told the hearing: “My colleague and I were destroying medication including oral morphine and she said: ‘Oh my god, I'm going to be high off of this’
“I said that if I found her asleep later or giggling I’d know she had been sucking her fingers, which I shouldn’t have said.
“When it came to the morphine she asked if I had ever taken it and I told her I hadn’t but that my partner had due to his back problem.
“She pushed a bottle over to me and said: ‘Well, take this one’ and I pushed it back to her and told her my job means too much to me.”
Buck said she then had to leave the room to take a phone call and returned to find her colleague and all the other medication gone but the bottle still on the table.
The nurse, who has almost 20 years experience, said she then put the bottle in her desk drawer because she did not have a key to the medication room and later took it home.
“I took it home because I was just so tired, I did want to take it, I admit,” she said.
“I first had the thought about consuming it when I put it in my bag.”
Buck sobbed as she confessed she intended to take the morphine in part due to her health problems.
She also admitted that her actions had been dishonest in removing the bottle from the care home, from which she was later dismissed.
“When I admitted I had done it I couldn't bear to say the word ‘steal’,” she added.
“I couldn't say it because I was so ashamed, it was stupid and irresponsible and dishonest.”
Buck was reported to the NMC by the assistant she was working with and suspended.
Two months later at Rotherham Magistrates’ Court, she admitted theft
It is claimed Buck then gave the impression she was still a practising nurse at an NHS funding appeal hearing for a patient, despite being suspended at the time due to the ongoing theft investigation.
Buck, who represented herself at the hearing, had now formally admitted stealing the morphine but denies the other charges including holding herself out as a nurse while suspended.
The hearing continues.