5 Denver Health nurses suspended after inappropriately viewing deceased patient's body

Denver Health placed five nurses on investigatory leave for inappropriately viewing and discussing a patient's body last April, the system confirmed in an emailed statement to Becker's Hospital Review.

Denver7, which affirmed incident details with the hospital, was told via a tip the nurses opened a body bag to view the deceased patient's body and checked the size of the individual's genitals.

Hospital officials said they learned of the incident from a concerned staff member who was working in the same area. The nurses were suspended for three weeks.

"Denver Health responded to this report immediately and the nurses in question were placed on investigatory leave," hospital officials said. "Their actions, which violated our policies and our code of conduct, were promptly reported to appropriate governmental authorities, including the Denver Police Department and the Colorado State Board of Nursing. An internal Denver Health investigation resulted in disciplinary action against all those responsible for the incident and the patient's next of kin was notified."

Denver Health spokesman Josh Rasmussen told Denver7 four of the suspended nurses eventually went back to their jobs, while the remaining suspended nurse left her position but was not fired.

Denver Health went on to apologize for the entire incident, saying, "It is not an appropriate representation of the high-quality care and compassion our clinical staff strive to provide to our patients."

 

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