Iowa hospital accuses fired nurse of falsifying reports

A hospital in West Burlington, Iowa, fired a nurse for an unusual amount of errors in patient records and charts, The Iowa Capital Dispatch reported Aug. 11. 

The nurse, Theresa Michels, RN, worked at Great River Health's Southeast Iowa Regional Medical Center from January 2022 to May 2023, according to the report. 

In mid-May, a nurse manager gave Ms. Michels an "action plan" because of patient safety concerns. A few days later, she was instructed to take a heart patient's vital signs every 15 minutes. This was not done, but Ms. Michels recorded in the patient's file that this task was completed, according to state records obtained by the Dispatch

The nurse manager discovered that Ms. Michels made more charting errors in the next few days and falsely documented duties she had not performed. 

She was fired because her patients might have experienced serious injury or death, and Ms. Michels was denied unemployment benefits, according to the Dispatch

Her nursing license was issued in 2018 and remains active. 

Great River Health declined Becker's request for comment.

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