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Nursing home employees penalized for abuse of resident

Two nursing home employees have lost their medical licenses after pleading guilty to endangering the welfare of an incompetent person and willful violation of health laws. For one of the employees, this was her third citation for nursing home negligence, which makes her involvement in the most recent offense even more disturbing.

According to court documents, the incident occurred in February 2009 when an emergency medical technician (EMT) saw a certified nurse aide hit a patient several times in the head and face area. The patient, a 40-year-old who suffers from schizophrenia and developmental disabilities, raised his hands in an attempt to protect his head.

The EMT told the nurse supervisor on duty that he had seen the aide strike a patient. However, the supervisor told him not to report what he had seen because she did not want the aide to get in trouble. The supervisor did not check on the patient or file an incident report, both of which are required by law.

Both the aide and the supervisor were later arrested. The aide was charged with endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person and willful violation of health laws. The supervisor was also charged with willful violation of health laws, as well as with falsifying business records. Both pleaded guilty and were ordered to surrender her nursing license in lieu of serving jail time.

This was the third such charge for the supervisor. In 2004, her license was suspended for one month after failing to have a patient treated for a fall and documenting the incident. In 2006, her license was suspended for three months after attempting to hide the fact that she had given a patient the wrong dose of a powerful pain medication.

If your family member has been injured as a result of abuse or neglect at a New Jersey nursing home, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.

Source: SIlive.com, "Beating, cover-up at nursing center on Staten Island," Frank Donnelly, Nov. 29, 2011

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