A Hollis nurse has been arrested for playing doctor.
James Williams, 59, worked as a registered nurse at the Hillside Manor Adult Day Care Center, where he allegedly took it upon himself to diagnose and medicate his patients without the consult of a doctor, according to Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.
“Nurses at adult day care centers are trusted to protect their patients, not to expose them to potential harm,” said Schneiderman.
After making his own diagnosis for several day care participants, Williams would call in prescriptions to local pharmacies under the guise they were ordered by a doctor, when in fact they were not, according to the charges. As a nurse, Williams is not appropriately trained or licensed to make such calls.
A fellow nurse and program director at Hillside Manor informed the attorney general’s office of at least three participants that Williams was treating. Telephone prescription records show the Williams ordering medication over the course of a year under the names of various doctors.
Williams used doctors’ names including Dr. Satish Deshpande and Dr. Annupria Itteera, who both said they did not authorize the nurse to prescribe any of the medications he called for.
The prescriptions ordered include zolpidem (the generic of Ambien), a controlled substance, and oxycodone, a narcotic drug. Although there were no reports of any harm to his patients, there was a “substantial risk posed,” said the attorney general, and that no day care participant should have taken these substances without the proper authorization.
Williams was charged with unauthorized practice of a profession, falsifying business records, willful violation of health laws, criminal possession of a controlled substance and petit larceny, all for which he faces up to four years imprisonment.
Neither Hillside Manor nor Williams’ lawyer returned calls for comment as of press time.