Patient's medication 'delayed' during disagreement with nurse

LAWRENCE, Ind. - A nurse has been suspended from a Lawrence nursing home amid allegations that she denied medication for a patient during an argument.

Managers filed a verbal abuse report with police this week at the Lawrence Manor Healthcare Center near East 46th Street and Post Road.  Police were told that a nurse got into an argument with a patient and denied the patient his medication.

Facility managers told police they were required to file a police report and notify Adult Protective Services caseworkers about the ordeal.  The report was filed with police on Tuesday, but it did not spell out when the alleged verbal abuse took place.

The officer wrote in his report that the facility’s administrator informed him that the nurse “got into a verbal argument with (the patient) and verbally denied (the patient) his medication.”

The facility’s director of nursing, Darlene Doss, told Call 6 Investigators the patient was never actually denied his medication, but rather had pain medications delayed during the disagreement.

“There was no denial,” she said.

Doss said that the patient had already been given his regular dose of medication for the day, but he then requested additional pain medications.  She said the patient’s doctor had authorized him to receive additional pain medications as needed or “per required need.”

She said that nurses are required to evaluate a patient thoroughly whenever they request additional medication, so the nurse in question stated the man had to wait until that process was handled.

“He was entitled to it,” Doss said of the additional dose of pain medication.  “I think it’s how she said it to him,” she said of the encounter.   She described the ordeal as the nurse abruptly telling the patient that he had to wait.

Doss said the patient suffered “no adverse reaction” to the delay of additional pain medication, and a different staff member administered the medication after he was fully evaluated.

“Trust me, he’s being well taken care of,” Doss said, adding, “He did get his medications.”

She said that even if the ordeal would not seem like verbal abuse to anyone else, the facility was required to report it.

She said the nurse is a veteran employee of 10-to-12 years.   “She’s been here a long time,” Doss said.

The facility’s administrator, Devon Brewer, read a statement to the Call 6 Investigators:

“We have received an allegation of abuse against one of our employees.  The employee has been suspended indefinitely subject to the outcome of our internal investigation.   The appropriate authorities have been contacted in accordance with the elder abuse law.  We can’t give out any additional information due to the privacy laws.”

She declined to comment further.

The facility is owned by the Ide Management Group of Greenfield.   The company’s website states it owns 28 skilled nursing and assisted living facilities throughout the Midwest.

Doss said the Lawrence Manor facility was licensed to care for 52 patients and currently has 48 residents.

The nurse in question has not been criminally charged with any wrongdoing.

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