One male nurse and a male occupational therapy aide at two hospitals in Florida have been arrested for rape in separate incidents this month.
The first arrest was made Oct. 3 at 171-bed Citrus Memorial Hospital, Inverness, when a female nurse witnessed Bruce Alan Young, a registered nurse, raping a female patient who was a minor, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Police arrested Mr. Young, 45, who had been a nurse at Citrus Memorial for four years. Since his arrest, police have charged him with five separate counts of rape and have interviewed more than 40 other women who also may have been victims.
In Jacksonville, Charles Arthur Morales, 33, was charged with sexual battery after attacking a mentally disabled 26-year-old female patient at 90-bed Memorial Regional Rehabilitation Center.
Mr. Morales, who has been suspended, has worked for Memorial for four years. He admitted having sexual relations with the woman but told investigators it was with the patient's consent, police said.
The rehabilitation center is part of Memorial Healthcare System, which signed a letter of intent in August to be acquired by Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp.
Megan Carella, Citrus Memorial's public relations manager, said the hospital planned to issue a public statement about the charges and the measures it will take to prevent future problems.
Ms. Carella said the hospital has taken two immediate steps. One, no nurse is allowed to be alone with a patient in a recovery room. Two, the surgical waiting room has been moved closer to the surgery suites to allow easier access to patients by their families, she said.
From 1987 to 1992, 312 sexual assaults were reported in a survey of 280 hospitals, according to a report by the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety, Lombard, Ill. Victims included patients and visitors. Suspects included patients, employees and one physician.