I just received my semi-weekly email from the state Department of Health about all the doctors, nurses, dental hygienists, and other health-care professionals in trouble.
The updates are tragically voyeuristic reading, and have that special can't-not-look-at-a-car-crash magnetism. Besides the usual rounds of people stealing drugs, forging prescriptions, and having "inappropriate relationships" with patients (those are the big ones), some items are especially depressing and/or bizarre. Such as:
The Nursing Assistant Program charged registered nursing assistant [redacted] with unprofessional conduct. [Redacted] allegedly falsified timesheets claiming she had provided 52 hours of care to a patient and was then paid by the Department of Social and Health Services for time she didn’t work. Charges say [redacted] took a heavily medicated patient shopping and coerced the patient into buying things for her.
In September 2012 the Nursing Assistant Program charged registered nursing assistant [redacted] with unprofessional conduct. Charges say [redacted] allegedly didn’t properly supervise a patient with special care needs. The unsupervised patient ate laundry detergent. Charges say the detergent may have contributed to the patient’s death.
In September 2012 the Nursing Assistant Program granted the credential of certified nursing assistant [redacted] and placed it on probation for at least one year. [Redacted] entered into an agreed continuance for a charge of drive-by shooting in 2012.
I called up Sharon Moysiuk, the very nice DOH communications officer who sends these updates, to ask if they were an especially depressing part of her job. "Well, yeah," she said. "Sometimes you see the stuff people do and it's just, like, 'oh my gosh.'"
She said she'd been working at that job for four years. In that time, what was the strangest disciplinary item she remembers seeing? "You kinda set that aside and just edit them," she said. "Having opinions about them isn't really part of it."
But items like that nurse who took the medicated patient out shopping—those that have to stick out, right?
"Oh, that's not the first time I've seen that, someone going shopping with someone who's medded up," Moysiuk said. So she's just about seen it all? "Yeah, I guess so."