Missing drugs at medical facilities, criminal charges and driving to a substance-abuse evaluation while drunk led to a Santa Rosa County licensed practical nurse getting disciplined, the Florida Department of Health said.
Also on the list of reasons Navarre resident Nickolas Scott got hit with an emergency restriction order: claiming he’d had six jobs in the last three years, blaming his girlfriend for his Escambia County DUI in 2017 and taking little to no responsibility for any of the above.
Addiction medicine doctor Terrance Reeves said Scott’s work history, “reveals a person that has either significant sociopathic tendencies or significant alcohol and/or drug issues or all of these things.”
The Gulf Breeze jobs
That’s in the restriction order, which was issued Sept. 8, and starts with missing drugs at Gulf Breeze Courtyard.
Despite staff noticing that patients who didn’t normally ask for pain medication requested it during Scott’s shift, he was promoted from floor nurse to resident care director on Sept. 15, 2019. With the new job and title came the only key to the overflow medication cart.
Scott resigned Oct. 6, the day after an argument with a supervisor got him suspended. He refused to return the key to the cart. After a locksmith did his work the next day, a count determined 73 Ativan tablets, 25 ml of liquid oxycodone and five hydrocodone tablets were missing.
“Shortly after his resignation, Scott made threatening phone calls to several former colleagues” at Gulf Breeze Courtyard, the order states.
An ex-girlfriend was among those colleagues, the ERO said, and Scott kept calling her despite warnings from the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office. A warrant was issued for his arrest on Oct. 29.
As Gulf Breeze Courtyard learned of missing drugs, Scott started work as a floor nurse at assisted living facility The Beacon, also in Gulf Breeze. The order says The Beacon staff noticed the same suspicious pattern of drug distribution noticed at Gulf Breeze Courtyard.
An administrator requested all the nurses undergo drug testing. Scott decided to resign on Dec. 10, 2019.
“The abnormal requests for as-needed pain medications stopped after Mr. Scott left the facility,” the ERO said.
The opposite sex, drugs and alcohol
Scott’s girlfriend called Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office in February saying that he choked her, punched her and threatened to slice her throat with a knife. Scott was arrested on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and domestic battery by strangulation. A deputy “noted that Mr. Scott appeared to be intoxicated.”
The case got closed in June when the girlfriend decided against prosecution. Scott’s being prosecuted on the previous warrant.
The Florida Department of Health ordered Scott to undergo evaluation, which brought Scott into Reeves’ office on Aug. 14.
The order says Scott told Reeves he’d lost six jobs in the previous three years.
“Mr. Scott failed to provide a clear explanation for his terminations,” the order said. “However, Dr. Reeves learned that at least two terminations were for suspected drug diversion and two for failure to submit to requested drug testing.
“Mr. Scott did not acknowledge any responsibility for the loss of these six jobs. Instead, he blamed others or offered contradictory explanations.”
When Scott mentioned the 2017 DUI conviction, the order said, “he blamed the incident on his girlfriend, who failed to pick him up at a bar as agreed, forcing him to drive home while intoxicated.”
Scott claimed he stopped drinking after that. But when Reeves saw on paperwork that Scott drank alcohol the previous month, Scott said he had “maybe a beer every once in a while.”
Reeves ran toxicology tests on Scott. Not only did he think the results showed Scott might’ve been binge drinking the night before, but the urine test indicated a blood alcohol level of 0.20 at the time of the test.
“Dr. Reeves noted that Mr. Scott drove himself to his evaluation despite having a blood alcohol level that was well above the legal limit for driving,” the order said.
Reeves gave the aforementioned analysis and diagnosed several alcohol-use disorder. Among Scott’s possible other problems were substance use disorder, personality disorder and other mental health issues. Reeves recommended a treatment program that’s at least partially inpatient, a full psychological evaluation and monitoring by the Intervention Project for Nurses (IPN).
As Scott hasn’t undergone the treatment, he’s restricted from practicing nursing until IPN or an IPN-approved evaluator lets the Department of Health know he’s safe to be a nurse again.