New York Nursing Home Cited for Neglect after Video of Sleeping Nurse Goes Viral:

The report from the New York State Department of Health reveals that although the nurse had engaged in concerning behavior prior to the March 26 incident caught on video, no action had been taken by the nursing home to prevent an occurrence of nursing home malpractice.

After drawing the attention of the New York State Department of Health, a viral video showing a nurse who appears to be sleeping on her feet has led to dual citations related to nursing home malpractice being issued against a New York nursing home, says an Auburn Citizen article.

The DOH cited the Auburn Rehabilitation and Nursing Center for neglecting to protect its residents from neglect and for failing to administrate efficiently.

The video in question, which was recorded on March 26 at the facility by a certified nursing home assistant and posted to Facebook just days later, shows a licensed practical nurse slumped and swaying on her feet at a medical cart, as if sleeping. Since its posting on social media the video has been viewed over 2.2 million times. The nurse is reportedly no longer employed at the nursing home.

According to the article, the DOH report outlines multiple instances prior to the recorded event in which the nurse displayed behavior dramatically inconsistent with preventing nursing home malpractice, including the following:

  • Suspicion of working under the influence: Just weeks after the nurse began working at the facility in late February, a staff member alerted the assistant director that the nurse appeared to be under the influence; when questioned about it, the nurse claimed to be on migraine medication. She was not removed from the schedule. No further investigation into the matter was done by Auburn, the DOH report said.
  • Multiple occasions of drowsiness: Several instances of appearing drowsy were noted in the report. After an incident in which she was found asleep in her car, the nurse was given “counsel” for sleeping issues and asked to discontinue working double shifts; however, she persisted in working doubles and also logged eight straight back-to-back working days up to the night the video was recorded.
  • Confused behavior: On the night the nurse was recorded, she was said to have been seen “on the floor crawling around, reaching around for things that were not there.” She appeared groggy on a 911 call made that night to transfer a resident. When she left work, the nurse reportedly remained in her car for hours.

According to the article, the nursing home’s director of nursing said the facility never suspected the nurse of substance abuse; however, a staff member told the DOH that workers were told by administration not to say they believed she was under the influence.

Finding that the facility did not sufficiently respond to the aforementioned problems with the nurse, the Department of Health cited the center for nursing home malpractice and has imposed a correction plan with in-service training related to the specific citations. The facility is expected to come into compliance or face potential disciplinary action.

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