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Nurse charged with theft of controlled substances from patients

Nurses are on the front lines of patient care and can make all the difference in the comfort levels of their charges. They also shoulder a tremendous amount of responsibility when it comes to dispensing medications, including controlled substances. The lives of many Ohio patients have been touched by the care they have received from these professionals.

Unfortunately, there have been cases in which nurses have occasionally faced allegations of improper and even criminal behavior. One such nurse was recently charged with stealing medications meant for the patients at a local nursing home facility. According to Ohio police, they investigated for several months before the woman was arrested for theft and falsifying patient records. The 37-year-old was apparently terminated from her position in July 2014.

A supervisor of the facility purportedly suspected that the woman had stolen medications and then entered false information in the records, indicating that the medications had been dispensed. However, several patients told the police that they had not received their medications. Furthermore, blood tests on two patients reportedly showed no traces of the medications. Other patients supposedly displayed behavior counter to what their medication would have caused.

The case was apparently scheduled to be presented to the Sandusky County Common Pleas Grand Jury. The woman has been charged with almost two dozen felony counts of falsifying documents and more than 15 counts of theft of controlled substances. She and her defense counsel will carefully examine the evidence that the state intends to present against her in order to identify potential legal challenges and to prepare for trial. It remains to be seen if plea negotiations will be successfully pursued or whether the defense will force prosecutors to actually prove their case at trial, a burden that is often difficult to meet. In any event, the accused woman remains innocent before the court until -- and only if -- her guilt is established by relevant and competent evidence.

Source: zanesvilletimesrecorder.com, "Ohio nurse charged with stealing patients' medication", Kristina Smith, Dec. 12, 2014

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