The policy at Citrus Valley Health Partners is pretty common among healthcare providers: All staff members who have direct contact with patients must have a cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification card. But roughly 50 workers at the company's six hospitals and medical facilities are now out of work, caught possessing counterfeit CPR cards.
"It's a question of trust. It's a question of representation that is honest and truthful, and it's a question of our patients and protecting their care," said Lisa Foust, vice president of human resources for Citrus Valley Health Partners.
Foust said the 50 employees fired employees represent just a tiny percentage of the company's 3,200 workers. But many were registered nurses. Citrus Valley won't say exactly how many.
"So were patient lives in jeopardy?"
"No, in fact our investigation reviewed that as well, and we concluded there were no adverse outcomes," said Foust. "Patient care was not affected."
This isn't the first time Southern California healthcare workers have been caught using bogus CPR certification cards. Just last year, two workers at the UC Irvine Medical Center were disciplined when officials learned they used fake certificates to avoid the required CPR training, training that takes just four and a half hours on one day and costs nothing.
Citrus Valley officials don't know the price of one of the fake certificates, but the busted nurses and other employees do. It cost them their jobs.
Citrus Valley officials say the fired workers are not eligible to reapply for their jobs with the company. That means if you're looking for a job in the healthcare field, there are about four dozen openings in the area.