Two workers at a Staten Island nursing home lost their licenses as a result of the beating of a developmentally disabled resident. They also pleaded guilty to violating state health laws, and neither will work in health care again. The home itself was reportedly not cited with any violations. The state attorney general’s office reports that an aide allegedly struck a patient on the head several times, and a supervisor then allegedly tried to cover it up. The incident underscores the importance of vigilance among loved ones of nursing home residents.
According to a report in the Staten Island Advance, an EMT reported to a nurse supervisor that he witnessed an nurse aide hitting a patient on the head several times, and saw the patient react defensively. The patient was a developmentally disabled 40 year-old suffering from depression and schizophrenia. The nurse supervisor told the EMT not to report what he saw because, according to authorities, she did not want the aide to get into trouble. The nurse supervisor also reportedly did not examine the patient or file an incident report, although the law requires her to do so.
The state attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigated the incident and charged the nurse aide with endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person and with willfully violating state health laws. The aide pleaded guilty to the charge of willful violation of health laws, receiving a sentence of a conditional discharge. She had to give up her nurse aide certificate and may not work in health care as a further condition.
The nurse supervisor was charged with falsification of business records and with willfully violating state health laws. She also pleaded guilty to the willful violation charge and got a conditional discharge. She lost her practical nurse license and must refrain from working in health care. News reports indicated she had received two suspensions previously, once in 2004 for failing to report a patient’s fall or treat the patient’s injury, and in 2006 for administering an incorrect dosage of painkiller and attempting to hide the mistake.