SPRING HILL - A registered nurse and emergency medical technician at Spring Hill Regional Hospital was issued an emergency suspension of his certifications last month amid allegations he stole narcotic pain medication on hundreds of occassions, according to the Florida Department of Health.
Justin Miles Tverberg, of Spring Hill, was listed among 36 emergency suspension and restriction orders issued this month, an administrative complaint shows, and Tverberg told hospital staff he diverted Dilaudid - the brand name for hydromorphone prescribed to treat pain - from the hospital for personal use.
The incidents alleged occurred over the course of seven months, the complaint shows, and involved stealing morphine, Dilaudid and Demerol from the hospital on 353 occasions.
Hospital staff noticed discrepancies in Tverberg's medication dispensing system reports in March. The dispensing system consists of locked medication carts that control access through a computer system, and each cart has a computer terminal on top of the cart that is linked to the pharmacy.
Nurses can access the medication carts with either an individual password or through a fingerprint scan to select the medication needed, and the patient for whom the medication is intended.
After being confronted about inconsistencies in his dispensing system reports, Tverberg submitted to a drug screen, which tested positive for opiates, hydromorphone, oxycodone, oxymorphone and morphine. Tverberg did not have a prescription for the pain medications, according to the complaint.
"A proceeding seeking formal suspension or discipline of the certification of (Tverberg), EMT, to practice as an emergency medical technician will be promptly instituted and acted upon," wrote State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health John Armstrong.
Emergency suspension or restriction orders are not considered final, but are imposed per state statute, and those with suspended certifications are entitled to a hearing before final action is taken by a regulatory board or health department.
Tverberg received his EMT certification August 2007, and received his nurse certification June 2012, two months before the alleged incident began.