Collaboration in Civic Spheres

State: Patient abandoned by home nursing aide, found on floor

by Matt Rosenberg April 27th, 2011

SUMMARY: The Washington state Department of Health last week announced it had filed charges of unprofessional conduct against registered nursing assistant Janice. N. Lorenzana, who allegedly abandoned an elderly patient for whom she was supposed to be caring in his King County home. He was found by his grandchildren on the floor with his briefs soiled by urine and feces and no one else in the house, although Lorenzana had indicated via cell phone clock-in and clock-out to her employer Fedelta Care Solutions, of Seattle, that she was on duty at that time. The state filing says she admitted she left early due to a family emergency, and alleges she got no one to cover her shift. Lorenzana’s license expired several months after the alleged incident in June 2010. The health department reports she did not respond to the recent charges within the required 20 days. The case now moves to the settlement phase, which would include whether, when, and under what conditions her nursing assistant license would be renewed.

KEY LINK: State of Washington Department of Health, statement of charges against Janice N. Lorenzana; page one, page two.

KEY FINDINGS:

  • The Washington state Department of Health has charged a licensed registered nursing assistant, Janice N. Lorenzana, with unprofessional conduct for allegedly abandoning a 71-year-old patient, known only as Resident A, in his King County home. Citing patient confidentiality, the health department declined to specify the town in which Resident A lived.
  • According to the health department, Lorenzana on June 24, 2010 had been assigned by her Seattle-based employer, Fedelta Care Solutions, to care for a client known as Resident A in his home from 4 to 8 p.m.
  • Lorenzana clocked in by cell phone at 3:49 p.m. and clocked out the same way at 7:50 p.m, but she did not work these hours. Resident A’s grandchildren came to visit at about 6:30 p.m. and Lorenzana was not present in the home. He had fallen to the floor and “his brief was soiled with both urine and feces.”
  • “When asked about her absence,” Lorenzana “√§dmitted she had left early, due to a family emergency. She made no effort to cover her shift, and left Resident A without a caregiver to ensure his safety. She did not notify her employer at the time that she was leaving early.”
  • The state health department filed disciplinary charges of unprofessional conduct against Lorenzana April 1. Her 20 day deadline to respond passed without a reply, according to a department spokesperson. The case now enters the settlement process; if no settlement can be reached, it will go to a hearing. Lorenzana’s registered nursing assistant license expired in mid-September, 2010. Depending how the case is resolved, it could be renewed; renewed after a probationary period; or suspended temporarily or permanently. A Fedelta spokesperson confirmed Lorenzana is no longer employed by the company, but would provide no further details about the circumstances related to her departure.

UPDATE: Lorenzana’s credential was indefinitely suspended by the department of health.

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