March 29, 2013
A Cleveland, Ohio nurse made a claim earlier this month that she was fired from her job after reporting nursing home abuse.
According to Channel 3 News in Cleveland and investigative reports, Annie O’Malley was a nurse at the MetroHealth Prentiss Center nursing home when she witnessed abuse against one of the residents. The incident happened in September of last year and involved a 90-year-old woman who was allegedly left alone in her room where she would cry and scream for help. The elderly lady was unable to take herself to use the restroom.
O’Malley then stated that when aides ignored her cries for help, the resident would attempt to get out bed and try to lift herself into a wheelchair in hopes of making it to the bathroom:
“The bed was in the high position. 4 rails up. This woman crawled out of bed, which she could have killed herself, getting out of bed,” O’Malley told Channel 3 News.
After O’Malley reported the abuse, the staff at the nursing home went through re-training. One of the aides was disciplined, but O’Malley was fired. O’Malley alleges she was fired because she reported the abuse, stating that the nursing home didn’t want anymore bad news or publicity about the facility. MetroHealth was under prior investigation in 2011 when another instance of abuse against a 78-year-old resident report was filed.
After the incident, O’Malley contacted the niece of the victim, Vanessa Jones. Jones said that no one from the nursing home contacted her once about the abuse, and she would have never known had O’Malley not reached out to her. She immediately removed her aunt from the nursing home.
When a local news station attempted to call the manager of the nursing home, Tina Szatala, she refused to talk about the allegations and hung up the phone.
Meanwhile, O’Malley has retained the services of a nursing home abuse lawyer and plans to sue MetroHealth under the Ohio Whistleblower Law. The Ohio Whistleblower Law protects employees from disciplinary actions and from losing their jobs for reporting abuse.