LICENSE TO ABUSE? HOPEFULLY NOT

Most professionals have to get a “license” from a state board to practice their profession. Lawyers, nurses, doctors, funeral home directors, contractors – most of us work hard to get, keep and maintain professional licenses.

We even help folks in various fields, defend themselves against challenges to their license. We have appeared before Bd. of Vet. Medicine, nursing, Medicine, etc. And often times, our clients are simply victims of misunderstanding or miscommunication. But sometimes, the actions of someone are so horrific, they deserve to lose their license and be denied access to their chosen profession.

Today I was on the Bd. of Nursing Website, and ran across awful accounts from a handful of certified nursing assistants in our area. YES – I mean SW VA.

NURSE 1
One nurse, who worked in a Nursing Home in the Northern Neck area, was found to have been verbally abusive to her nursing home patients, she stole food from them and drinks, and used their personal cell phones without permission.

OK – that is clearly wrong, illegal and she should not be allowed to serve that population. But thank God, no one was physically hurt.

NURSE 2
One CNA was negligent in failing to place an alarm on a resident in his wheelchair. He got up, fell, hit his head and was injured.

That is also not acceptable, but probably not intentional abuse or neglect. Still actionable as a civil lawsuit, but maybe not an intentional act.

NURSE 3
Nurse 3, serving in a Petersburg VA Nursing Home, physically slapped, verbally abused and pushed an eldery resident, who is unable to speak. She admitted to slapping his face and hands on numerous occasions. She hit a second, blind resident, on the back of the head. Although she was fired for these actions, the nursing Home actually hired her back months later.

Now this is disgusting. Why is a mean spirited, and physically abusive person allowed to treat ANY elederly person. Thankfully, her license is NOW revoked.

NURSE 4
Nurse 4, while employed with HERITAGE HALL IN BLACKSBURG, slapped residents and was verbally abusive. She lost her license, but will be able to petition to get it back.

Now folks, why do I share this? I share it because your loved one may say to you at sometime, that Nurse X is mean, or unkind, or abusive. Please don’t dismiss them. It happens every day, and sadly, in Virginia.

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Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at lellerman@frithlawfirm.com.