Butler County

Butler nurse accused of stealing pain medicine, tested positive for hydromorphone, fentanyl

BUTLER, Pa. — Deborah Shook, a nurse in Butler Memorial Hospital’s post-anesthesia care unit, is accused of pocketing pain medication meant for her patients.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office filed a series of charges Monday, accusing Shook of stealing the prescription opioid Dilaudid, which is also known as hydromorphone.

Community members, like former nurse Paula Worsley, shared their concerns with 11 News.

“It is a sad thing,” Worsley said. “There’s, evidently, patients that should’ve been getting the medication that didn’t.”

“I don’t think it is right for them to do that and I think they should be prosecuted,” added Butler resident Terrence Doller.

According to the criminal complaint, hospital management first suspected wrongdoing last August after one of Shook’s patients complained to staff that they, “Believed that their nurse had pocketed their pain medication.”

That prompted an internal investigation.

A week later, the police report states, Shook was accused of falsifying records when she allegedly documented she gave medication to a patient, and it was later found at her workstation.

“I know it happens and I know it happened way back when I was nursing. Maybe not in our hospital, but I know I heard about it,” said Worsley.

The Butler Health System required Shook to give a urine sample, which according to the criminal complaint, tested positive for hydromorphone and fentanyl.

Worsley expects Shook will face serious repercussions.

“Nowadays that’s sort of what happens. A lot of people get into the drugs, I think with what’s going on in the whole world,” Worsely said. “I would say that she’d lose her license.”

Shook’s current employment status at Butler Memorial Hospital is unclear.

11 News reached out to Butler Health for more information but has not heard back.

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