Incredible tale of "tolerance" to the point of idiocy.
Terrible pt abuse and neglect; staff abuse.
Hard to believe all this happened, but it is true.
[ Fair Use: For Educational / Research / Discussion Purposes Only ]
10/27/02, by Margie Boule
Nurse recalls trauma of working with accused terrorist Battle
Battle all smiles 9/11, nurse says
Linda Jackson was as surprised as anyone three weeks ago, when authorities arrested three Portlanders and charged them with conspiring to aid al-Qaida in their fight against the United States.
But when she heard the names of the suspects, she had one of those "aha" moments.
Jeffrey Leon Battle.
Hadn't she called it? Hadn't she said to her fellow employees on Sept. 11 last year, "He has something to do with this"? Hadn't she, in fact, quit her job as Jeffrey Battle's supervisor after the attacks because of him?
On that day Linda Jackson put her livelihood on the line, because she refused to accept Jeffrey Battle's behavior any longer. Now Jeffrey is a suspected terrorist sympathizer, and Jackson's probably earned the right to say, "I told you so."
And she's not the only one.
Linda Jackson is proud to be a registered nurse, caring for patients at long-term assisted-living centers. In the spring of 2001 she took a job as night-shift charge nurse at Tigard Rehabilitation and Extended Care Center.
"As charge nurse I do the medication administering and medical treatments," Linda says, "and I supervise the CNAs" -- certified nursing assistants.
A few months after Linda was hired, Jeffrey Battle came to work as a CNA. "I was his supervisor on the night shift. I worked with him four or five nights a week."
The first few days, Linda says, Jeffrey came to work in shirt and pants. But within a week he began showing up wearing a robe and turban in defiance of the dress code. "And he began disseminating Islamic literature," Linda says, "and proselytizing to all my patients and the staff. He even tried to convert me, and I'm a Baptist. I said, 'I'm sorry. We believe in the same God, but that's where it ends.' "
Jeffrey told Linda he was a convert to Islam, "And he was very radical and passionate about his newfound religion." Only once, she says, did Jeffrey talk politics. "He started to go off on how Jews had stolen the Palestinian homeland and the Palestinians were justified in their jihad."
But Linda says she was more disturbed because Jeffrey was not caring for his patients. "Every night he did only one round. CNAs were supposed to do four rounds. He bullied female staff members into doing his work. And they hated it. They were demoralized."
Every night, Linda says, Jeffrey would lay a prayer rug in a patient's room, "and he'd say, 'I'm going to pray. I don't want to be disturbed.' He sat all night long and read the Koran out loud, and chanted and sang."
Linda says she talked to Jeffrey, challenged him, ordered him to perform his duties. "He looked through you like you were invisible, like he couldn't hear you or you were too lowly to be heard, because I was female, and how dare I ask a male to do something."
Linda says she complained to her superiors "several times verbally and in writing." She kept copies of her complaints. In one, dated Aug. 30, 2001, Linda wrote Jeffrey was ignoring his patients and was refusing direct orders to tend to their needs.
Cheryl Yarnell, administrator of Tigard Rehabilitation and Extended Care Center, refused to be interviewed about Jeffrey Battle, and she did not respond to questions submitted in writing Wednesday.
Linda says she spoke to Cheryl Yarnell many times about Jeffrey. "I said, 'He's violating all the rules, he's violating the religious rights of staff and patients. . . . He's verbally abusive and neglectful toward the patients.' Basically, I was told to deal with it, because he had threatened to sue for racial or religious discrimination. Any authority I had as a charge nurse was basically invalidated. I was rendered impotent to protect my patients."
Other employees of the Tigard Rehabilitation and Extended Care Center support Linda's claims, but they don't want their names used for fear of problems at work.
Linda says the situation worsened in early September. "He wouldn't answer his call lights. His patients were left to suffer" until Linda or other CNAs had time to help them. "It was a very frustrating experience."
Maxine Rohrs also is a charge nurse, and for five years she has worked for an agency that places her in long-term assisted-living centers when they need replacement nurses. "You go wherever they assign you," she says. "And that's how I met Jeffrey Battle."
Maxine worked with Jeffrey at Tigard Rehab for one week. She also worked with him, as his supervisor, at two other facilities.
"I felt uncomfortable with him," she said. "He didn't take orders from a woman at all. If I asked him to do something, he just glared at me. He wouldn't do his work." The first place Maxine worked with Jeffrey, "I wouldn't go back, because I didn't want to work with this guy."
But then Jeffrey would change jobs and turn up at another care center where Maxine was assigned. "He acted like he was a religious person, but we never got into that. I had no time. I'm in charge of a whole section, I have treatments to do, shots to give, and I have to make sure the CNAs are doing their job. He did not."
Maxine said she never confronted Jeffrey "because I was afraid of him. I'm alone there with these people; I have no backup. Somebody with a strong personality like that, especially who won't take orders from a woman, can make it really difficult."
Finally, noting Jeffrey worked in care centers on the west side of the metropolitan area, Maxine told her agency she would only work on the east side. "He scared me. I was afraid of him."
Linda Jackson says things came to a head on Sept. 11, 2001, the day al-Qaida terrorists attacked the United States. That night, she says, Jeffrey Battle "came into work with a smile on his face, singing praises to Allah, saying America really had it coming. He practically danced in the door. Everybody else was totally devastated. All that night his insolence escalated."
At the end of his shift, about 6 a.m., Linda says, "All his call lights were going off and he was sitting and chanting. I told him to answer his call lights. He shook his finger in my face and said, 'Answer those lights yourself.' We had a confrontation, and I lost my cool. I don't yell at my CNAs, but I did. I'm very ashamed of myself that I lost my composure."
Linda never returned to Tigard Rehab; she resigned her job as Jeffrey's supervisor. "It was the most frustrating experience of my career as a nurse. He was not a good person."
If Jeffrey is a terrorist or a terrorist sympathizer, Linda's glad he's behind bars. But for the sake of his patients, she's just glad he's not in nursing anymore.