Uncovering pain pill swapper's past

Posted at 10:53 PM, Feb 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-11 22:58:17-05

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.- The Courtyard Assisted Living Residence is where the elderly in this community turn to for care. Investigators say Hillary Constant swapped patients' pain medications with muscle relaxers. But Constant has herself a rap sheet including six arrests including a dropped charge for possession of drug paraphernalia in 2014.

"It is kinda hard to tell with people's motives sometimes if they are there to help people or to get into nefarious activities," said Brandon Short of White Sands Treatment Center in Fort Myers.

Constant was a medical technician. Her responsibilities usually range from changing linens to serving food. With a growing nursing shortage in lee county, medical technicians are relied on more than ever to administer drugs.

"A lot of the times in the nursing homes there are one nurse for about thirty patients" butt "sometimes they do have to use med techs in a situation like that because the nurse to patient ratio is so high," said Short.

Fox 4 reached out to the managers at the Courtyard Assisted Living facility to ask about their screening process for hiring employees. The Department of Children and Families sent an email statement reading "We have conducted an adult protection institutional investigation regarding an incident at the facility. the investigation regarding the incident is now closed."

Brandon Short from the White Sands Treatment Center in Fort Myers shared their process of screening employees.

"Background checks are involved, reference checks are involved and if they are referred to my an employment agency. You'd want to check the credibility of the employment agency as well to make sure they aren't employing people with ulterior motives," said Short.