A nurse accused of falsifying controlled medication records and dispensing incorrect amounts of insulin and morphine to care home residents apologized to a colleague when confronted.
Armelita Bacani is facing 21 allegations of professional misconduct and poor professional performance by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland for her caring for six residents at the CareChoice center on Upper Glanmire Road in Montenotte, Cork City in 2017.
Ms Bacani, originally from the Philippines, appeared before a hearing of the NMBI Committee on Practice Fitness in Dublin on Friday.
The NMBI’s attorney, Lorna Lynch BL, told the committee that the allegations also constituted a breach of the code of conduct and
Ethics for Registered Nurses.
The investigation came after a complaint by the nursing home’s then-director of care, Joanne Williams, to the NMBI in September 2017.
After an investigation by the nursing home, a complaint about Ms Bacani to the Gardaí and the DPP, it was finally decided not to press charges.
On the first day of evidence, the NMBI’s legal expert, Patricia Dillon SC, said Ms Bacani accepted that she forged signatures of colleagues on drug records when dispensing.
Ms Dillon said the nurse, who is not legally represented, is also unable to dispute the allegations or argue that medicines are not being administered or the correct doses are not being provided because she cannot recall events.
The investigation found Ms Bacani twice administered half the required dose of a pain reliever, Oramorph, to a resident known as Resident A on May 26, 2017.
The committee heard from a witness that the dose given to the resident, who was a large man, was ineffective.
She had also under-dosed another individual, resident B, on May 31, 2017.
Ms Bacani is accused of failing to provide residents B and three other residents with prescribed medications, including sleeping pills and a treatment for Parkinson’s disease, on July 8, 2017, but signing records of the medication administration to indicate that she was giving them had given the medication.
The committee heard Ms Bacani apologized by saying she was called away to help with another patient and completely forgot to give the patients their medication.
The investigation learned from seven of Ms Bacani’s former colleagues, who said their initials were entered on the nursing home’s controlled drugs register on 22 separate days in 2017, although they had not done so.
The nursing home’s controlled medication policy required two nurses to administer controlled medication; One nurse had to act as a witness for the other.
Similarly, for 10 days in 2017, she forged the initials of other nurses on the same registry in connection with providing the pain reliever Oxycontin to Resident F.
On Friday, seven former nurses said they had not entered their initials on the controlled drugs register.
A former colleague of Ms Bacani told the committee that she realized her initials were on the medication record on a day she wasn’t working and challenged Ms Bacani.
Gigi Thomas told the committee: “I didn’t work that night, did you use my signature?
Ms Thomas said Ms Bacani initially didn’t answer her and then said: “I’m sorry Gigi.”
“She said she was very uncomfortable. She blushed so much. She sat there and we didn’t speak much after that, but she admitted it,” Ms Thomas said.
Following this conversation, Ms. Thomas became aware of further entries in the drug register that concerned her.
“The clinical nurse manager called me and asked to check the register because she believed my signature had been used by someone else to administer medication.
“My initials were used, but they weren’t made by me. It wasn’t my handwriting,” Ms. Thomas said.
She told the committee that the nursing home had launched an investigation as more entries appeared in the records that may not be accurate, as many of those who allegedly signed the register were not working on those dates.
Each of the nurses who were called to testify before the investigation was run through the drug records and each identified instances where their signature was used, but all said they had not signed the record.
Ms Lorna Lynch BL previously told the committee Ms Bacani wrote to the NMBI claiming she decided to give residents the medication herself because they were in pain and she sympathized with them.
However, she said the nurse accepted that she had not followed proper procedures.
The resumed hearing, which had been adjourned since February, had previously been informed that Ms Bacan had undergone a hysterectomy in October 2016.
The committee heard that the nurse had written a letter explaining that she acted out of compassion for residents of the nursing home because of the pain she suffered after a hysterectomy.
The hearing was adjourned and resumed at a later date.
https://www.independent.ie/news/nurse-accused-of-falsifying-controlled-medication-records-apologised-when-confronted-42030829.html A nurse accused of falsifying controlled medication records apologized when confronted