An employee at a nursing home in Bullitt County has been accused of stealing drugs from the residents. The good news is that the staff at the Green Meadows Health Care facility in Mount Washington became suspicious of her activity within her first week and took action.
The woman, a 36-year-old registered nurse, aroused suspicion because she kept insisting on giving patients their medications by herself. She insisted that she knew what she was doing.
The Bullitt County Sheriff’s Office stated that, “She said she didn’t need anybody going with her – she’d done it before, she knew what she was doing – is what she stated to them so they didn’t follow her around. And they started noticing discrepancies the next day.”
The Green Meadows Health Care staff alerted authorities. The nurse has been charged with forgery, fraud, and theft of a controlled substance.
The nursing home believes the nurse stole 26 dosages of narcotics in five days – they included hydrocodone, oxycodone, and OxyContin. She did this by using the names of nine different nurses. She also took drugs she claimed to have given to patients – which is a grave concern if those patients were not treated for their pain.
The follow-up investigation revealed that the woman had, earlier in the year, been to several doctors trying to get prescriptions for those same drugs. Authorities believe she stole the drugs to feed her own addiction to the medications. “Once your body adapts to it, you need more and more,” the Sheriff’s Office said.
Thankfully the staff at the Mount Washington home were alert to the signs. In a South Carolina home a few years ago, two different employees, acting separately, stole narcotics from residents for years. They altered patient’s charts to make it look as if they’d been given the pain medication.
Just another reason for families of loved ones to keep a close eye on how patient treatment and safety protocols are followed. Stealing of drugs by health practitioners is a rampant problem in hospitals as well. Experts say implementing drug testing is a costly avenue, and that such testing is complicated.
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