Pharmacy assistant loses his credentials

The state Board of Pharmacy revoked the credentials of a Grant County pharmacy assistant for 10 years for diverting narcotic prescription drugs from the pharmacy where he worked.

The board concluded Michael R. Bernard committed unprofessional conduct in violation of state laws based on allegations he secretly took 22 Oxycontin tablets in November 2009.

The board charged Bernard in August, but he never answered the charges and failed to cooperate with the board's investigation, documents said.

Bernard cannot petition for reinstatement of his credentials for at least 10 years.

Also, the state suspended the credentials of a Walla Walla County nursing assistant for three years based on allegations he used unnecessary physical restraint to hold a disabled nursing home client on the floor when the client resisted going to bed.

Documents said the client, identified only as Client A, is an adult with fetal alcohol syndrome and requires supervision.

The client reportedly didn't want to go to bed when a caregiver thought the client needed to sleep, and nursing assistant Eduardo Luna stepped in to help the caregiver.

Luna and the unidentified caregiver "manipulated Client A onto the floor and held him there" several times, documents said.

The Secretary of Health determined that although Client A was resistant, he at no time posed a threat to his own safety or the safety of others, and the use of physical restraint was not justified.

The Department of Social and Health Services in August issued a finding that Luna had abused a vulnerable adult, resulting in the Secretary of Health's order to bar Luna from being employed in a position involving the care of or unsupervised access to vulnerable adults.

The state charged Luna with unprofessional conduct in August, but he did not answer the charges, documents said.

He cannot petition for reinstatement of his credential to practice as a registered nursing assistant for at least three years.

Michelle Dupler: 582-1543; mdupler@tricityherald.com