Recently, an unqualified individual committed impersonation and offered a deceptive resume to become hired as a registered nurse for a nursing home. This case illustrates the evident importance of comprehensive background checks. This importance remains high despite the high turnover and labor shortages that have recently plagued the industry.
According to the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, the accused had worked for approximately a year and a half as a registered nurse for seven nursing homes. In addition, she assisted living facilities across three South Carolina counties. However, the attorney general’s office has stated that she did not have the training, qualifications, or certifications required of a registered nurse during her employment.
The woman allegedly used another individual’s State of Georgia Board of Nursing License number to gain employment as a registered nurse at these facilities. As a result of these allegations, authorities arrested her, and she faced the following charges:
Mistakes like these can be costly for nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other employers of qualified medical providers. Moreover, hiring someone without the necessary qualifications poses a significant risk of inflicting both physical and mental harm to those under the facility’s care.
As a result, these facilities can be held liable for failing to provide qualified medical care and to secure the premises. Such liabilities may result in lawsuits and penalties. In addition, regulators may hold them responsible, and they will risk losing their accreditation. Furthermore, the facilities may lose access to federally funded healthcare programs.
There are several steps employers can take to prevent hiring impersonators. First, requiring specific documentation to help verify someone’s identity will help reduce the risk. Such documentation includes driver’s licenses, relevant certifications and training, vaccination records, and other pertinent documents.
This step is crucial to incorporate in a comprehensive employment screening program. Other necessary steps include criminal record checks, initial and regular sanctions, and exclusion checks. Finally, contacting authorities and reporting when someone may be impersonating another is vital.
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