Unqualified health-care aide worked several shifts at Winnipeg hospital, WRHA confirms

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Unqualified health-care aide worked several shifts at Winnipeg hospital, WRHA confirms
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority says a person posed as a health-care worker at St. Boniface Hospital and worked multiple shifts. Anya Nazeravich reports – Jul 29, 2021

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority would like the public to know that it is aware of an individual who posed as a health-care worker at St. Boniface Hospital.

The WRHA says the unauthorized person worked at the hospital between July 2 and July 17 and worked several shifts, performing duties as an uncertified health-care aide.

They had started but not completed the required seven-day training course to become a certified health care aide, the health authority said in a release Thursday.

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Despite this, the individual called the staffing office at St. Boniface Hospital presenting themselves as a newly hired UHCA, with significant knowledge of the training and hiring process.

They were then able to work a shift because of an issue confirming their employment status and after the issue was identified they were told that they were ineligible to work.

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After being told this, the individual continued to work, bypassing the staffing office. They had a deep knowledge of the facility, its units and its managers and with this knowledge, they were able to present as an employee to screening and security, the WRHA said.

Upon investigation, the WRHA concluded that this person worked as many as eight shifts, including in the emergency department, and performed duties such as retrieving supplies and escorting patients to their rooms.

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The WRHA says the individual had no access to controlled medications and they were in the direct vicinity of professional health-care staff at all times.

Staff members identified the individual during a subsequent shift, at which point they were barred from St. Boniface Hospital, and police were notified.

Police have spoken with this person and have determined that no ill will was intended and therefore no further action is anticipated.

The WRHA said the hospital has taken measures to help ensure the validity of staff working on shift.

“The circumstances of this incident — while highly unusual and isolated — are troubling, as it appears that gaps in the process were allowed to occur,,” the WRHA said in the release.

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“St. Boniface Hospital has taken the appropriate steps to ensure staff are aware of the incident and to reinforce that staff IDs must always be visible and always be presented upon entry.”

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Additionally, the WRHA says it is working with St. Boniface Hospital and Shared Health to conclude an investigation that will clearly identify the issues and gaps in policy, process and practice. It says corrective measures have been and will continue to be taken.

The WRHA would like to remind both staff and patients that you have a right — and are encouraged — to ask any health-care worker to view their formal identification at any time if it is not visible.

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