“It’s all about the money, it has nothing to do with the patients and the care they are getting. It’s a big business.”
WTVR had an interesting article about why nurses are leaving the nursing home industry. Short-staffing causing burn-out and neglect is an epidemic. The article mentions the tragic case of Cassie Ortiz. Ortiz loved her residents and the job. She was finishing up her MBA to become a nursing home administrator.
“It’s hard for me to leave something I absolutely love,” Ortiz said. “I will never pursue it at this point. It’s a broken system…”
Her decision came after a frightening attack inside the Colonial Heights Rehabilitation and Nursing Center where she worked as the Director of Social Work.
On September 13, 2022, a resident sexually assaulted Ortiz. He exposed himself and kicked and punched her.
“He had my jean jacket with one hand and his other hand on my neck pushing me down,” Ortiz said. “I kept asking the patient to let me go, and he said no, that I needed to perform oral sex on him, and he just would not let me go. I was very scared.”
Once free, she called law enforcement for an emergency custody order (ECO) to apprehend a person experiencing a mental health crisis and transport them to a hospital for treatment.
“He was taken to the hospital, evaluated and they sent him right back because he was no longer acting out,” Ortiz said. “No one asked me if I was OK, no one asked me if I needed counseling, no one gave me time off, it was awful, OK you just gotta go back to work the next day.”
CBS 6 submitted a public records request to police for 911 calls from the facility over the past year. Those records revealed 18 assault calls to police, two abuse calls, and four sex offense calls. The facility has one star in a five-star rating system on Medicare.gov.