One nurse twisted a patient’s jaw until he screamed. Another grabbed an elderly man by the shoulders and slammed him against a mattress. Our 70-year-old client was punched in the face by an angry nurse while giving our client a bath.
Charles Ornstein of the LA Times is out with an article today about problem nurses. He highlights a very troubling fact: It sometimes takes years for a formal complaint against a nurse to be addressed by the California Board of Registered Nursing. As Ornstein writes:
It’s a high-stakes gamble that no one will be hurt as nurses with histories of drug abuse, negligence, violence and incompetence continue to provide care across the state. While the inquiries drag on, many nurses maintain spotless records. New employers and patients have no way of knowing the risks.
The LA Times investigation examined the case of every nurse who faced disciplinary action from 2002 to 2008, and made some troubling findings:
• It took more than three years on average to investigate and act on complaints;
• The Board gave probation to hundreds of nurses, the failed to crack down as many of the nurses landed in trouble again;
• The Board failed to use its authority to immediately stop dangerous nurses from practicing;
Most troubling, the Times investigation found more than 60 nurses who were disciplined for “serious misconduct” since 2002 had worked in three facilities before action was taken.
Here at Walton Law Firm, we have been told that the nurse who punched our elderly client in the face continues to work at a different facility. Something needs to be done.
The entire LA Times story can be found here.
The nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Walton Law Firm LLP provide free consultations to individuals and families who believe a loved one has suffered from abuse or neglect in a nursing home or residential care setting. Cases are accepted throughout Southern California.