Nursing Home Goes Into Lockdown After Worker Waved Gun in the Air
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on December 1, 2022 in Nursing Homes and Elder Rights
In September 2022, a suspended employee of a nursing home in Iowa showed up at the facility with a gun. According to a news report, state inspectors investigating the incident say the suspended worker was seen waving a small gun around and threatening to “take care” of an issue with one of her colleagues.
The incident, which occurred at about 10 a.m. on September 26, was reportedly witnessed by two workers at the facility. However, neither worker took any steps to report the incident until after attending a meeting and going to lunch.
Nurse Aide Came to Discuss Suspension
State records indicate a suspended nurse aide arrived at Heritage Specialty Care in Cedar Rapids on the morning of September 26. Reportedly, she was there to give a written statement about the events that led to her suspension the night before. Workers say the nurse aide entered the facility wearing sunglasses and with her jacket hood up.
The nurse aide says she was there for a planned meeting with the scheduling coordinator and human resource employee. However, the conversation did not go well.
Workers say the nurse became visibly upset and then removed a small gun from her handbag. The same workers say that the aide did not aim the gun at anyone. However, she reportedly said about the incident with her colleague, “If you don’t handle it, I’ll take care of it myself.”
The incident the aide was referring to involved an argument she had gotten into with another worker the night before.
Two Workers Witnessed the Gun-Waving Incident
After the incident, the scheduling coordinator and human resources employee left the aide in an office to go to a meeting. The two workers went to the meeting and afterward to lunch. These two employees say they discussed the incident during their lunch break and decided they should probably report it. These two workers then notified the facility’s administrator about the incident after they finished their lunch.
The nurse aide was immediately terminated from her employment and a “police presence” was placed around the building for a full week. However, no one was arrested. Police say they could not charge the aide with a crime since she did not actually threaten anyone.
The facility claims these two workers received verbal training and education on “the necessity of reporting a firearm immediately.” According to the human resources worker, however, this so-called verbal education never happened.
State Inspectors Investigate the Facility and Cite Multiple Violations
While on site to investigate the gun-waving incident, state inspectors checked out other complaints against the facility. Their investigation revealed six regulatory violations:
- Failure to maintain professional standards
- Failure to keep the facility free from hazards
- Failure to adhere to federal guidelines for COVID-19 vaccinations
The facility was assessed with a $9,500 fine. However, that fine is currently being held while the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services decide whether federal penalties should also be imposed against the facility.
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