Update (10/3/2012): According to the Staunton Newsleader, former nurse aide Anthony M. Johnson appeared in court this week and plead guilty to two counts of assault and battery. He received to a suspended 12-month jail sentence. Charges are pending against two Envoy administrators who failed to report the assaults to authorities.
The news is saddening, but unfortunately not surprising given what we have learned about employee background checks at many nursing homes. Most fast food chains conduct a more thorough background check to flip cheeseburgers than nursing homes do when hiring health care providers who will be responsible for some of the most vulnerable of our citizens.
We have seen other Virginia nursing homes hire caregivers with felony convictions! Do you want your mother, father, wife, or husband being cared for by an individual who may have committed a serious criminal offense? I sure don’t.
Virginia law requires nursing homes to conduct a criminal background on every employee within 30 days of hiring.
The Virginia Department of Health Center for Quality Health Care Services and Consumer Protection provides a list of over 25 crimes, the conviction for which, would prohibit employment at a long term care facility or nursing home.
My Hope: If the two employees committed a criminal act, they should be convicted and punished. More importantly, if the two employees at Envoy of Staunton had criminal records which should have prevented their hiring at the nursing home, then someone should lose their job and, if they are a licensed health care professional, they should lose their license.