News Article Details

The way a state mental health facility nurse handled a patient put blood on the floor

Miami Herald - 12/29/2019

Dec. 29--"Forcefully" shoving a mental health patient's face into a wall and, possibly, injuring the patient's nose led to the license suspension of a Lake City nurse, the Florida Department of Health said.

An emergency suspension order hit the license of Thomas Parrish Monday in response to a May 31 incident at Northeast Florida State Hospital, a state mental health treatment center in Macclenny.

The order says the licensed practical nurse entered a living area as another nurse was giving insulin to a patient identified as "J.J." J.J. began wondering if he was given the right amount of insulin. Soon, J.J. and Parrish were "attempting to talk over each other" with raised voices.

Parrish told J.J. to get out of the area, a request J.J. refused.

"Mr. Parrish grabbed Patient J.J.'s arms from behind and pushed him down the hall," the emergency suspension order said.

J.J. came back to the medication room with more volume and determination to discuss the insulin amount.

"Mr. Parrish again grabbed Patient J.J. from behind, turned him from the medication room, directed him forward a few steps and then forcefully pushed Patient J.J.'s head face-first into the wall," the order said. "Patient J.J. yelled out that his nose was hurt. Staff observed that Patient J.J. was bleeding and that there was blood on the floor."

The Department of Health said that just restricting Parrish's license via an emergency restriction order doesn't "adequately protect the public because Mr. Parrish committed this act against a patient in the normal course of his duties as a nurse."

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