WGNtv.com reported that a certified nursing assistant said a patient was accidentally hurt on her watch, and then, she was told to lie about it. On March 14, a patient from The Villa at South Holland nursing home was rushed to the emergency room after a fall. She suffered a gash to the back of the head so big it required nine staples. The CNA said she was asked to help move this patient by an RN when that patient fell out of a wheelchair. The CNA said the nurses on her floor were upset because the patient was supposed to be moved using a device known as a “hoyer lift,” which elevates and moves immobile patients.
“I accidentally stepped on the blanket and the resident slid from the wheelchair and I told the nurse ‘stop,’ but it was already too late and the resident had hit her head,” she said. “There was blood on the floor.” This CNA, who asked that WGN conceal her identity, said she decided to come forward to protect other patients and in the hopes of shedding some light on behavior she calls shameful and illegal. The CNA said she was told by her superiors to lie about how the patient was moved.
“The paramedics arrived and they asked what had happened. ‘How did she hurt herself?’ I began to say how it happened, and the nurse from the third floor, who had not witnessed the fall said it did not matter how it happened, just that she hurt herself and is now bleeding,” the CNA said, explaining that the nurse cut her off. “In fact, she told me to say this was a hoyer lift accident,” she said. “She knows for a fact this resident was not supposed to be moved unless it was with a hoyer lift. And the family knows that. And the family is calling their lawyer now. That’s exactly what the nurse had told me.”
The Illinois Department of Public Health sent investigators to look into the incident. Despite preparing a three-page statement giving her account, the CNA said her managers “typed up a four-sentence paragraph of what had happened.” She was told to give that statement to the health department.
The CNA said she resigned from her job with The Villa but not before telling state investigators her side of the story. “I showed her my letter versus their paragraph,” she said. “I told her exactly how I felt. That this was being pushed under the rug.”
This CNA is a real hero. I hope other CNAs find the same courage and conviction to do the right thing.