A former intern was charged with fraud and forgery after she faked her boss’s signature to get away from her job
News Corp media have reported on the case of a young pharmacist who faked her employer’s signature when applying for her registration, exaggerating the number of hours she had worked under supervision.
The Brisbane Magistrates Court heard that the pharmacist graduated with honours and began her internship at a Brisbane pharmacy, where she began to experience significant workplace pressures.
The former intern’s Legal Aid lawyer told the Court that 2018 saw the young woman preparing medicines for up to 90 residents of nursing homes a week, while trying to study for her examinations.
She was also expected to perform duties such as “to run errands for [her employer] including things such as picking up wedding portraits, going out and buying lunch, walking [the employer’s] dog and taking her car in to get washed,” her lawyer said.
When she spoke to her employer about these conditions, her position was made part-time.
The pharmacist completed 1146 hours of supervised practice at the pharmacy, well short of the required 1824.
But she forged the signature of her employer and sent her application to register as a pharmacist to the Pharmacy Board in December of that year.
The registration was granted.
“In her mind she thought the only way out of a bad situation was to get registered and get another job,” her lawyer told the Court.
“She was a young person under extraordinary pressure who found herself making a regretful decision.”
The former boss informed health regulators about the shortfall in supervised hours and the forgery.
The practitioner worked for only one month as a registered pharmacist before being contacted by AHPRA and asked to cease doing so.
AHPRA’s investigation is still underway, and the practitioner has not returned to pharmacy, instead returning to study in a different area of health.
Charged with fraud, forgery, uttering a forged document and making a false entry in a record, she was fined $2000 and no conviction was recorded.
Pharmacists can contact the Pharmacists Support Service on 1300 244 910 for peer support related to the demands of being a pharmacist in Australia.
Members can call PDL on 1300 854 838 for support from a Professional Officer.