An emergency room nurse at a Central Florida hospital was accused of drug diversion, violating integrity of medication administration system, and possible impairment for stealing controlled substances.
An internal hospital review of the Pyxis machine revealed 65 instances of misconduct and missing drugs. The agency investigation revealed that someone was cutting the foil of medication packaging, removing the controlled substances and replacing them with over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin and Tylenol. The packages were then glued back together to appear intact and to hide the theft.
According to the complaint, a chart review of medication pulled by the nurse allegedly showed a widespread pattern of mismanagement. A drug screen showed the nurse tested positive for Percocet.
The Department of Health (DOH) requested the nurse voluntarily relinquish her license.
The attorneys at Chapman Law Group challenged the agency investigation and showed it was substantially flawed, in that there was no credible evidence showing the nurse was responsible for the drug diversion and tampering. In addition, we showed there was a total lack of physical evidence such as video recordings, fingerprints, eyewitnesses or anything else to support the charges. Further, we argued that the investigation actually showed a complete lack of accountability at the management level of the hospital with regard to the safeguarding and administration of controlled substances.
We also provided the agency with evidence showing the nurse’s unblemished employment record, extraordinary employer evaluations and numerous character references from co-workers.
After a careful review of all information and evidence provided, the DOH determined that probable cause for a violation did not exist and closed the case. Because the case was dismissed without a finding of probable cause, the investigative file remains confidential and will never be disclosed to the public for potential employers. The nurse maintains her license in perfect good standing.
Areas of Law:
Nursing License Defense
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