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Families of Los Angeles Nursing Home Patients Must Be Cautious of Nurse Tampering with Patients’ Drugs

On December 11, 2011, the Associated Press reported that three nurses were convicted of tampering with their patient’s drugs. All three nurses had been previously convicted of various drug-related crimes and yet were still able to secure jobs at skilled nursing facilities. One nurse, previously convicted for forging prescriptions, was convicted once again, this time for diluting five of her patients’ morphine solutions. Another nurse who stole her patients’ drugs at her previous job was found guilty of adding tap water to one of her patient’s painkillers. The last nurse, fired from her previous job for drug discrepancies, was caught stealing syringes of morphine and replacing them with a dangerous sodium chloride solution. The most disturbing truth about these crimes is that they occur in nursing homes nationwide and are often a cause of pain, suffering, and death in nursing home patients. In this specific situation, blame can be placed on the nursing home for failing to implement background checks on its employees. By simply being a bit more thorough in their hiring processes, nursing home management has the ability to significantly improve quality of care in skilled nursing facilities.

Staffing is the root cause of most problems in nursing homes. While the term ‘inadequate staffing’ is most often associated with quantity, people often overlook that it must also be applied to quality of care as well. A nursing home staff can be inadequate if it fails to provide a high standard of care or if its members are not qualified for the job. Similar to the situation reported above, management of nursing homes often fail to hire nurses who are best qualified to provide the care that your loved one requires. It is important that you emphasize both quantity and quality of care when choosing a skilled nursing facility for your loved one.

If your loved one’s skilled nursing facility is located in Huntington Park, Commerce, or Bell Gardens and is failing to meet the high standard of care necessary for your loved one’s well-being, contact us today to see how we can better your loved one’s current situation. Furthermore, if your loved one has passed away and you feel that a skilled nursing facility and its staff is directly responsible for his or her death, we may be able to help you with a wrongful death claim to help recompense any personal losses that you have suffered.