Nurses behaving badly
A nurse who sexually assaulted a woman in the ER. A nurse who encouraged suicide. And a nurse responsibile for spreading hepatitis C to at least 9 patients.
While nurses consistently top lists of America’s most trusted professionals, not all nurses live up to that sterling reputation. This week alone, at least three nurses made headlines for heinous behavior:
- James Whittington, a registered nurse at Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago, is accused of sexually molesting a woman he was treating for chest pain after sedating her with morphine. According to a report by Chicago Breaking News Center, Whittington assaulted the patient by “inappropriately touching her breasts, then placing [her] hand upon his penis.” Whittington has been suspended from the hospital.
- Former Minnesota nurse William Melhert-Dinkel has been forbidden to use the Internet after allegedly encouraging at least two people online to commit suicide. The Minnesota Board of Nursing revoked his license in 2009.
- Brandy Elizabeth Medeiros of Florida has been suspended by the state Department of Health after allegedly reusing syringes and medication vials. Health officials say Medeiros is responsible for spreading Hepatitis C to at least nine patients.
Clearly, these nurses are in the minority. But do you think their actions affect the rest of us?
Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.
By Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN