Nurse Drug Theft in Hospitals Term Paper

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Nurse Drug Theft in Hospitals

A nurse at the Royal Melbourne Hospital neurology ward denied charges of serious unprofessional conduct but admitted stealing drugs from an unlocked medical cupboard (Miletic 2005). Allegations of unprofessional conduct consisted of leaving patients unwashed and exposing them to the danger of choking by leaving their tracheostomy tubes untied. The nurse, Elisa Maee Carmody, was later cleared of the charge of unprofessional conduct. But she admitted stealing and taking drugs, including Temazepam, Valium and Diazepam, from the ward's medicine cupboard as part of a "drug-taking culture" by hospital nurses to counteract work pressure. She also said that her managers knew about it and that everybody did the same thing (Miletic).

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A former nurse at the Bedford Veterans Hospital was convicted of tampering with a consumer product after removing narcotics from pain patches (Associated Press 2006). Margaret Girouard of Merrimack, New Hampshire also stole other controlled substances, most of them painkillers from the hospital between September 2001 and August 2002. The pain patches were not used on patients, as reported. Girouard pleaded guilty of obtaining them by making false statements. Prosecutors later discovered that the nurse had been fired by a former employer in 1998 on suspicion of stealing her patients' medication. She faced a maximum prison sentence of up to 10 for tampering, four years for each count of the controlled substance fraud charges, and five years for making false statements (Associated Press).

Term Paper on Nurse Drug Theft in Hospitals a Nurse Assignment

Another nurse from Mount Maunganui admitted stealing 120 vials of Fentanyl from a locked hospital safe between March and October this year from Taurange Hospital (Hart 2006). Fentanyl is a potent painkiller for cancer patients. It has been described as many times more potent than heroin so that U.S. authorities classified it as a narcotic. The nurse, David Hansson, secured these drugs by entering false names, names of deceased or discharged patients into the drug register. The theft was discovered by the monitoring staff because of the irregularities of the entries. Hansson said that he stole the drugs to sustain his drug habit (Hart)

Still another nurse at a Long Island hospital admitted to stealing powerful narcotic painkillers (Cuomo 2001). Donna Wilson pleaded guilty to the charge of the felony crime of attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree. She agreed to attend the drug treatment program. The program required weekly drug testing and separation from controlled substances. Investigation by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit showed that Wilson stole Percocet tablets between January and October 2001 from Stony Brook University Hospital. These tablets were intended for cardiac patients but she used them for herself. In rendering the verdict on Wilson, Attorney-General Eliot Spitzer emphasized that patients are brought to the hospital and entrust their lives to nurses and other health care staff. He said that employees with this very serious responsibility could not be excused for abusing drugs and putting their patients at serious risk (Cuomo).

Some accidental deaths and injuries on account of medical errors, neglect and incompetence are never reported to authorities (Berens 2001). These undetected mistakes and actions have allowed those responsible to escape either punishment or additional training. The American Hospital Association and big health care organizations have… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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