根据哥伦比亚广播公司新闻最近发表的一篇报道，科罗拉多州丹佛市有一名男护士，目前正面临多项在工作期间性侵女性的指控。文章中引用的一个故事涉及一名女性，她在 2013 年平安夜因腹痛去医院。她接受了一剂吗啡来缓解疼痛，然后失去知觉。当她醒来时，一名男护士正在摸索并亲吻她。后来，护士在 Facebook 上找到了她并加为好友。
一年半后，这名妇女才报告了这件事。当她这样做时，警方开始调查有问题的男护士。他们找到了另外八名声称与该男子有类似经历的女性。他们还发现，指控不仅限于 Poudre Valley 医院——2013 年平安夜事件发生地。
According to a report recently published by CBS News, there is a male nurse in the Denver, Colorado, who is currently facing numerous charges for sexually assaulting women while on the job. One story cited in the article involved a woman who went to the hospital on Christmas Eve 2013 for abdominal pain. She received a dose of morphine to help with the pain and then fell unconscious. When she woke up, a male nurse was groping and kissing her. Later, the nurse found and friended her on Facebook.
It was a year and a half before the woman reported the incident. When she did, police started investigating the male nurse in question. They found eight other women who claimed to have had similar experiences with the man. They also found that the accusations weren't limited to Poudre Valley Hospital—where the Christmas Eve 2013 incident occurred.
On the contrary, the male nurse had been fired from three different hospitals by the time he was finally arrested. He'd also been reported for an "unspecified incident" at a Nebraska hospital in 2013, shortly before the Christmas Eve incident. Some of his victims even reported his misconduct to the police. None of these events mattered. Police evidently never pursued charges against the man and the hospitals where he worked seemingly failed to notify state licensing boards or future employers. At very least, no state licensing board ever took action against the nurse. As a result, an alleged predator was able to gain access to one victim after another.
How could these incidents have been prevented? The hospitals probably could have run stronger background checks, seeking out information from the suspect's former employers. Because no one pressed charges, the man didn't have a criminal record, nor were there any warrants out for his arrest. However, judging by how many hospitals employed and then fired him, a simple reference or verification check should have found some answers.
Arguably the bigger problem is that hospitals can opt not to disclose something like one of these incidents to the proper authorities. The CBS News report indicated that a hospital or two may have reported the suspect to Colorado's nursing board, but also noted that the board always keeps reports confidential until they decide to take disciplinary action. The nursing board definitely never took disciplinary action and has refused to disclose whether or not the male nurse in question was ever the subject of a complaint or investigation.
Two things are for sure, though. First, Colorado does not have any laws on the books that demand hospitals to report employee misconduct allegations to the state regulatory body. Second, the Colorado nursing board does not run background checks on license applicants. As a result, it's easy for nurses who have been fired over misconduct allegations to find new jobs without appropriate amount of scrutiny. A law demanding better sharing of misconduct allegations between hospitals would help to prevent accused predators from landing new jobs.