The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Montour County

May 12, 2014

Nurse headed to jail



DANVILLE – A former Geisinger Medical Center registered nurse has been sentenced to a minimum of two months in jail on or two charges of failure to keep required records of painkillers for patients.

Patricia Ann Herbert, 59, of 109 W. Mahoning St., was sentenced Friday to one month to one year, starting May 23, with automatic parole after serving her minimum term, fined $500 and ordered to do 20 hours community service for one of the charges.

Montour County Judge Gary Norton sentenced her to a consecutive term to pay a $500 fine and to spend one month to 11 months in jail and to complete 20 hours community service for the second charge.

A tearful Herbert apologized for the mistakes she had made and said, “I was very grateful no harm was done to anyone.”

Her attorney, Greg Moro, said she had been on probationary status by the nursing board because of driving while under the influence of alcohol and was required to attend Alcoholic Anonymous meetings. The only one she could go to was at noon, resulting in her working night shift and attending a meeting, getting little sleep and having psychiatric problems, he said.

He said she told her employer she was losing focus and struggling and she had asked for her shift to be changed. The pleas she entered indicated she made mistakes, he said.

Moro said his client has a problem with her leg and has been hospitalized for a depressive disorder and continues to be treated for that disorder. “When she was told she was being fired, she became very, very upset and had to be taken to the ER to be treated for anxiety,” Moro said.

Besides her nursing license being suspended, her brother has been diagnosed with cancer and she is trying to help him, he said. He requested home confinement or probation for his client currently on probation for DUI.

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