Cops Say Fake Nurse Worked at Hospital for a Year

Canadian woman Brigitte Cleroux has a long history of similar offenses
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2021 6:33 AM CST
Updated Nov 28, 2021 1:30 PM CST
Cops Say Fake Nurse Worked at Hospital for a Year
Do not give this woman a nursing job.   (Ottawa Police Service)

Authorities in Canada say Brigitte Cleroux appears to have had a long career working as a nurse at numerous hospitals and clinics—which is a big problem, because she isn't a nurse. Police say the 49-year-old used the name of a real nurse to get a job at BC Women's Hospital in Vancouver, where she worked for around a year, the CBC reports. After leaving that job in June this year, she allegedly worked as a nurse at a medical and dental clinic in Ottawa until she was arrested in late August. Court records show that Cleroux, who has a record of impersonation crimes going back 30 years, never finished nursing school and has no nursing qualifications.

In Ottawa, Cleroux faces charges including assault and criminal negligence causing bodily harm because she allegedly administered injections when she wasn't qualified to do so, the Ottawa Citizen reports. She faces similar charges in Vancouver, where authorities are trying to determine how many patients she treated. Her criminal record includes convictions for impersonating a nurse—and, in one case, a science teacher—to get jobs at hospitals in Alberta and Ontario. Authorities say she has often used forged documents and her aliases include Brigitte Marier, Brigitte Fournier, Melanie Cleroux, Melanie Gauthier, Melanie Thompson, and Melanie Smith.

Danette Thomsen, interim vice-president of the BC Nurses' Union, says it is "absolutely alarming" that Cleroux was able to work at the Vancouver hospital for a year. "The fact that this can even happen raises questions around the controls from the health employers, and what is in place and is it enough—obviously not—to keep our patients and our staff safe," Thomsen says, per the CBC. Police in Ottawa say they "believe there may be other clinics and victims in this criminal matter." (Read more impersonation stories.)

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