Will you be required to participate in RAMP? You need to read this…

What facts will the NJ Nursing Board rely upon if and when it Orders you into Ramp?

What facts are Important which the Board will use again you?

Submitted by New Jersey Nursing License Defense Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.

These are the facts of the case the Board obtained and the appellate court relied upon when it rendered this decision:

“McCafferty is licensed by the Board as a registered professional nurse and an advanced practice nurse, and is a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). He works at a surgical center in New Jersey. In 2012, the Board’s Enforcement Bureau commenced an investigation after receiving information about possible drug or alcohol abuse by McCafferty. A doctor who previously worked with him certified that “[o]n multiple occasions,” she smelled “alcohol on McCafferty’s breath while at work and while he was taking care of patients.” She claimed he was “often erratic in the medical care he provided” and would “make a number of mistakes.” She was “suspicious” about the abuse of controlled substances because “the waste narcotics did not match up.” She observed that he came into work with his face “busted” after “a physical altercation on his off time while intoxicated.” She complained that his “behavior was often erratic and sloppy and he is a danger to patients.” This doctor revealed that McCafferty “reeked” of alcohol on September 3, 2012, and smelled of alcohol on September 11, 2012. An interview with a second doctor revealed that “she had known him to smell of alcohol” but did not observe him drinking on the job. This doctor observed him “bullying other employees,” using “foul language” and “[making] inappropriate statements in the presence of patients.” She also raised a concern about his narcotic wasting procedures. The Board’s interview with a professional nurse revealed that she had “never experienced Mr. McCafferty smelling of alcohol.” However, he “behaved in a loud and obnoxious manner.” In addition, on “one occasion” he “asked her to sign a narcotic waste” that she did not witness and she refused. Although he would “frequently go out of his way to help people,” he also “frequently spoke disrespectfully” about others. McCafferty was interviewed and “denied drinking to excess.” He contended the allegations were false.”

What does all this mean??  If there is any question about a care provider possibly risking a patient or providing patient care while under the influence of any illegal or mind altering substance the Board will go to great length to interview all current and prior co-employees and or co-workers.  The Board will try to independently verify any and all allegations of inappropriate behavior or substance abuse related conduct either on or off the job.  Yes, a great deal of the information uncovered may only be accusations, or clearly inappropriate ‘hearsay’ which will never be able to independantly verified, however, the Board will use it in their decision making process if it means protecting the public.

As you can see in this case, although there was some positive information McCafferty did bring to the Board’s attention, there was a fair amount of adverse or negative information the Board did find which it relied upon when it Ordered Mr. McCafferty to enroll in RAMP.

In the next blog we will discuss the mandatory requirements of RAMP participation and why!

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