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Author Topic: Corporate Profits over Patient in the Health Care Field  (Read 12361 times)

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Vermont's version of Nurse Rached!

Psychiatric nurse disciplined for abusive treatment of patient

Morgan True Jul. 1 2015, 2:50 pm

Agelbert NOTE:
The article is honest in reporting the facts uncovered but the reporter refuses to question some of those "facts" like the "positive work history" of this Vermont Nurse Rached. The comments, however, tell the REAL story.

A veteran nurse at the Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital in Berlin was disciplined for abusive treatment of a patient in January, a Division of Licensing and Protection survey report shows.

The nurse, acting as shift lead, directed staff to conduct “planned ignoring” of a patient with severe obsessive compulsive disorder in an attempt to manage the patient’s “maladaptive” behaviors, according to the report.

Planned ignoring is a strategy sometimes used to reduce attention seeking behavior, the report states, but it was not part of this patient’s treatment plan. The treating psychiatrist later said planned ignoring is not recommended for patients with OCD and the nurse had no authority to instruct staff to implement it.

The nurse carried it further than just ignoring the patient, according to witnesses, by “taunting” the patient who became “visibly upset” and cried throughout the evening while begging for assistance.
The episode left the patient so anxious that the person reported having thoughts of taking his or her own life, the report said.

A month later the patient and nurse went at it again, the report says. After the patient slammed a door, the nurse reopened the door 5 to 7 times while smiling and laughing. That left the patient “angry yelling and hysterical.” The nurse later told investigators they were creating a distraction to “deescalate” the situation.

Officials at VPCH reported the incident to the Division of Licensing and Protection, which performed an unannounced site visit on behalf the federal government. The inspection concluded that the abuse resulted from poor job performance “rather than from systemic processes and factors that require correction.”  ;)

At the same time, Adult Protective Services and the Department of Human Resources conducted their own investigations. APS, which investigates abuse or neglect of vulnerable adults, substantiated the alleged abuse in March, and the nurse was immediately placed on administrative leave. The finding was also reported to the Vermont State Board of Nursing.

The nurse in question was allowed to continue working at the hospital while those investigations unfolded because of “a positive work history with no record of having mistreated a patient.” The nurse has worked in state psychiatric facilities for nine years, a tenure dating back to the former Vermont State Hospital in Waterbury.

As of May 15, when Licensing and Protection approved the hospital’s corrective action plan for issues uncovered during the inspection, the nurse remained on administrative leave, according to Vermont Public Radio which first reported the incident.

The inspection also found VPCH was not properly documenting its use of restraint and seclusion, but not that restraint or seclusion was being used inappropriately.

The inspection report highlights the difficulty of cases that nurses at VPCH regularly confront. The combination of trying circumstances, low pay and lack of qualified nurses driving turnover and understaffing at VPCH — an issue at the hospital since it was opened last summer.

VPCH CEO Jeff Rothenberg told VPR that an Agency of Human Services working group is expected to deliver a report on state nursing salaries later this summer, and he was optimistic that could lead to higher pay.[/color]


Tom Pelham 

July 1, 2015 at 5:31 pm

Morgan…a little over a year ago you wrote the story below which profiled the cost per patient per day of the new Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital (VPCH) at $2,247 per day or $820,000 per patient bed per year.


Though I have looked, I can’t find any acute care level 1 psychiatric hospital with this high level of operating costs. Plus, at over $1.1 million construction cost per bed unit, the hospital must be at the frontier of best practices design for a psychiatric hospital servicing the needs of patients requiring such a high level of care.

By any measure, for both construction and operations, a lot of money is invested in this facility, leaving one to wonder how it’s is now being managed with a result that yields only “trying circumstances, low pay and lack of qualified nurses driving turnover and understaffing at VPCH”.

The Vermont State Hospital use to have a distinct budget appropriation in the state budget where one could track such expenditures. Now, the VPCH budget is blended into the Department of Mental Health’s overall budget of $217.1 million for fiscal 2016, making tracking VPCH budgeted expenditures impossible. It might be helpful to readers as this story moves forward to provide some context of the cost of this new facility, both construction and operations, with similar facilities in other states.

Curtis Sinclair 

July 1, 2015 at 10:32 pm

Notice that this is a veteran nurse. That means this is the kind of thing she has been doing for years. This kind of behavior was common by staff at the old Vermont State Hospital because staff think that’s what they are supposed to do – provoke patients so they have an excuse to drug them. That’s the whole program at institutions like this – force drugging people. And the staff and doctors use any means they can, including lying at court hearings. I know because I saw it personally. A good way to stop such abuses would be to end involuntary ‘treatment’. When patients didn’t like their treatment they would check out and that would empty out places like VSH and the Vermont Psychiatric Care ‘Hospital’.

How many incidents will it take before CMS begins questioning this ‘hospital’s’ certification? I predicted that when this new facility was planned because the state would be transferring the same old problems into a new facility. I even pointed out another state where the same thing happened – Arizona. They built a new $80 million facility to replace the old one and within a few years it was already in trouble with federal inspectors.

All the money wasted on this ‘hospital’ could have gone to voluntary community treatment programs that would have really helped people.

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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