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Dept. of Health says Collier nurse abused drugs at hospitals

Posted at 6:37 PM, Jun 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-08 18:37:38-04

A Southwest Florida nurse who was fired for mishandling medications at one hospital, and then another, managed to land a third job before being fired again - all in the same year. The Florida Department of Health is now stepping in to restrict Derrick Liston Anderson's nursing license.

Anderson's troubles began at NCH Healthcare System in Collier County, where health officials say he was fired in January of 2015 for seven incidents in one week, in which he allegedly failed to give prescribed drugs to patients.

But by June of that year, he was working at Lee Health's Gulf Coast Medical Center in Fort Myers. A Lee Health spokeswoman told Fox 4 that a background check on Anderson came back clean, but they fired him within weeks after he was accused of dispensing pain medication without documenting pain assessments at least eleven times.

Just a few months later, in October, Anderson was hired into the intensive care unit at Physician's Regional Healthcare System in Naples. While he was working there, other nurses told health department officials that Anderson took syringes filled with drugs into the bathroom, and appeared to be disoriented when he came out. 

The Florida Department of Health issued an Emergency Restriction Order for Anderson, and is working to prevent him from being allowed to work at hospitals. 

Fox 4 reached out to Physician's Regional to ask how Anderson's record at NCH and Lee Health could have gotten past them. A spokeswoman said that they could not comment on personnel matters, other than to say that Anderson was no longer employed by them.

A Florida Department of Health spokesman said that complaints against nurses go through a review process, and would not necessarily be reflected on his nursing license records right away. DOH cannot legally say whether or not a nurse has a complaint until 10 days after probable cause is found for the complaint. 

Anderson's Emergency Restriction Order was filed on May 10, 2016.