New Jersey nurse alleges coworkers gave patients Benadryl to 'lighten the workload'
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A hospital nurse in New Jersey is claiming that some of her coworkers gave psychiatric patients Benadryl to make them sleepy overnight, and that a supervisor retaliated against her after she tried to report the alleged abuse, NBC News reported on Thursday.

Patricia Moran filed the lawsuit Wednesday in New Jersey state Superior Court, claiming that many of her coworkers in the adult psychiatric unit at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch “knowingly misused and administered” the allergy medication to make patients drowsy.

Moran alleges that the coworkers sought to "lighten the workload for the night shift nurses" — and that the patients' charts were not updated to note that they had been given Benadryl.

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The lawsuit states that Moran first reported the alleged misconduct in March. The reported medicating was “substantiated by the hospital” and administrators “gave instructions to stop it,” NBC News reported.

After Moran reported the allegations, her supervisor launched an “immediate retaliatory campaign” aimed at getting her to quit or to justify firing her, the lawsuit claims. The supervisor reportedly gave the nurse, who has worked at the hospital for more than 30 years, a “bogus” evaluation and transferred her from the adult psychiatric floor to the children’s floor. 

After Moran said she was uncomfortable with some pediatric responsibilities, the supervisor allegedly accused her of “refusing” to perform her job, and Moran was reportedly suspended for 14 weeks without pay. 

Matthew A. Luber, Moran’s attorney, told NBC News that the hospital “turned its back” on her, calling its conduct “egregious." 

"No employee deserves to be treated in such a manner, let alone someone who has dedicated more than 31 years at this particular hospital. Ms. Moran looks forward to her day in court," Luber said. 

RWJBarnabas Health, a health network that owns the hospital, declined to comment on specific matters involving patients and employees to NBC News.  

"Monmouth Medical Center is fully committed to providing a safe environment for our patients, visitors and staff," RWJBarnabas Health said in a statement to the outlet.

Although Moran returned to work earlier this month, she alleges in the lawsuit that her supervisor has refused to give her a shift. She is suing for an unspecified monetary judgement plus damages.

The Hill has reached out to RWJBarnabas Health for comment.