With under-staffing rampant in many nursing homes, one might think that choosing the best and brightest out of the pool of available employees would be a simple choice, but many facilities are giving employee’s bad behavior a slap on the wrist. Far from simple mistakes, these employees have been found taking care of residents while high on drugs. Some chose street drugs like cocaine while others tried to perform their jobs on prescription drugs like oxycodone.

These conditions of course led to potentially deadly mistakes, like giving a patient 200 units of insulin instead of 2, or giving coffee to someone not allowed to eat or drink. While this kind of behavior seems shocking and completely unacceptable, those sanctioned by the New York state Board of Regents for violations of this sort regularly receive just a slap on the wrist like a fine and a stayed suspension, putting them right back out into the nursing world. Even criminal convictions do not guarantee a quick turnaround to get these time bombs out of the system. Part of the problem, a spokesman for the state Education Department says, is that in many cases the system relies on nurses to self-report. In New York in 2013 only 231 nurses were disciplined.  See full article at The New York Post.

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