Veteranclaims’s Blog

September 29, 2010

Former Mountain Home, Tenn-VA Nurse Guilty of Diverting Patients’ Drugs

Full Article at: Former VA Nurse Pleads Guilty to Diverting Drugs
By Rebecca Pepin
September 28, 2010
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. — “Today 58-year-old Bruce R. Clendenin, of Greeneville, Tennessee, pleaded guilty to obtaining controlled substances by misrepresentation, fraud, deception and subterfuge.

Clendenin appeared in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville. He was released on bond pending his sentencing hearing set for February 28. He faces a term of up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

A statement of facts filed in support of Clendenin’s guilty plea states that he has been licensed as a registered nurse in Tennessee since 2006, having previously been licensed in Florida, and was hired in August 2007, as a registered nurse by the James H. Quillen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (DVAMC), Mountain Home, Tennessee.

In early June 2009, DVAMC staff learned that Clendenin was possibly diverting controlled substances. Clendenin consented to a search of his person which revealed seven patient identification armbands with bar codes as well as nine glass medication vials containing small amounts of controlled substances (hydromorphone (Dilaudid) and morphine). A review of hospital records for three months revealed 24 instances where Clendenin had removed controlled substances, including morphine, hydromorphone, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and diazepam, but did not scan in the medications as being administered to the respective patients.

In addition, there were 57 other instances where Clendenin removed controlled substances and reported that they were wasted (disposed of) but did not enter any supporting information to document that the drugs were actually wasted.

There were also 125 other instances discovered where Clendenin claimed that controlled substances were given to patients but in the wrong dose, and he documented that the wrong dose amounts were wasted, documented that the drugs were given by another nurse, documented that the drugs were destroyed late, or other related discrepancies.”

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