It started out innocently enough. A mention on the Big Wake Up Call of the story of Kristina Baylen, a 30 year old Florida woman who impersonated a nurse. For a year. And gave out shots. And medical advice. And was barely a high school graduate. Yeah, that Kristina Baylen. The number of scary things in those previous sentences are too numerous to mention. Suffice it to say she’d still be there if there wasn’t a paperwork snafu. Because, apparently, playing doctor as a child is all you really need experience wise to be a qualified medical professional in some places. Anyway, after the show attentive listeners began emailing me with other examples of this. I did not know this was a real problem. But it is.
Some perspective. Last October I suffered a seizure and went to the hospital. Every single person there had an ID and a passcard to get through security. Later, when I went for follow up care the doctor I visited had his diploma on the wall. That is a requirement in Illinois. They’re not bragging, they’re letting you know you are actually being attended to by someone who made it all the way through medical school.
This, as it turns out, is not a national requirement.
The lovely Samantha Key, of Mt. Vernon Kentucky, was arrested for impersonating a nurse. In a hospital. She claims the staff had it in for her. She may be right. Those licensed professionals can be a tad territorial. Fortunately for all she was found out pretty quick and the hospital dealt with her decisively by firing her after they called the cops. Even so, it took them three weeks to figure it out.
In Dallas Texas the wonderfully fun Jada Necole Antoine was arrested, finally, after three freaking years. Granted she’d stolen an ID from a legitimate nurse to pull off the scam but how the hell didn’t anyone notice that they had two nurses with the exact same name? And, grab this, she had not one job or two. … oh, fuck it. I’ll let the court tell you.
“Antoine had direct responsibility for patient care in the field,” court records said.
About $2.3 million in hospice claims were submitted to Medicare for services Antoine performed while impersonating a nurse, court records show.
The other companies authorities said she worked for are: Community Hospice of Texas, Elysian Hospice, Hospice Pharmacy Solutions, New Century Hospice, Keystone Custom Care Hospice and Silverado Senior Living Hospice.
In Billings Montana Angela Corson Smith ramped up the crazy by claiming to be a physician assistant student, a nurse practitioner student, a neonatal intensive care unit nurse, director of nursing and, I love this one, insurance fraud specialist. She actually conned people out of over $57,000 to fund that last one. Fortunately for everyone, besides the fact that she’s off the street and behind bars, is the fact that Montana does, kind of, check out their medical professionals. It only took them three years to stop her.
No, I’m not done.
in Pennsboro Pennsylvania Toccara Marie Crenshaw stole an ID, passed herself as a nurse and would have done some damage but, thankfully, someone recognized the name and knew she wasn’t her. One call to the cops later and off to the hooskow she went.
Yes, she got caught due to pure chance. That should make you feel better.
in West Palm Beach Florida, of course we get back to Florida, a fake Dr. Robinson (this one’s a 17 year old kid so we’re not naming him) passed himself off as an OB/GYN by wearing a white coat and saying that’s what he was. Pretty slick hunh? He was caught when another doctor asked him one of those doctor questions that the kid couldn’t answer. Good news? He never actually dealt with a patient.
I’ll take my good news where I find it.
In Orlando, still in Florida, Ugarriza Fuentes was working as a surgical assistant when a fellow medical professional called the cops claiming that the nice assistant was performing liposuctions. Long story short, far from being a surgical assistant, he was only licensed to run a massage therapy center. For the record it seems he was actually good at what he did.
In Miamai, yep, still Florida, Teobaldo Humberto Fuentes & his wife Jina, not only pretended to be medical professionals, they opened a clinic. And, because … Florida … he treated kids (shots, etc.) with no way of verifying that the kids received proper care and, again, Florida, he provided gynecological exams to visiting moms.
Oh, wait, they didn’t run “A” clinic, they ran a fucking series of them. Believe it or not it wasn’t until a reporter noticed that the clinics also owned condos, a transportation company, did real estate management, and sold car wheels that this whole scam fell apart.
So did they have any medical experience whatsoever? Well, yes, the husband once worked as an X-Ray tech.
Lessons learned? Make sure you see a license that allows a professional to treat you or your family. Also, it might not hurt to look up their business license. If they also own car shops you might want to take your health elsewhere.