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The Journal Gazette

Friday, January 18, 2019 1:10 pm

Nurse charged with taking painkillers meant for patients

Matthew LeBlanc | The Journal Gazette

A Fort Wayne nurse is facing felony charges after allegedly taking prescription painkillers from patients at a rehabilitation facility for older people.

Julie A. Dettmer, 46, also known as Julie Dertmer, was a licensed practical nurse at Englewood Health and Rehabilitation Center when her bosses began to ask questions about missing medications including Oxycodone, hydrocodone and tramadol in August. Dettmer texted a worker at the facility Aug. 29, saying she had taken too much medication intended for a patient from a machine that dispenses the pills.

The worker studied records from the machine and "noticed numerous discrepancies in the history," according to a probable cause affidavit filed Jan. 11 in Allen Superior Court.

The woman for whom Dettmer took the medication tested negative for drugs, but her chart showed she'd been given the medication, the affidavit states.

Dettmer also told workers at the facility she lost a prescription for medication for one of the patients and needed another one, investigators said. The prescription was allegedly found in the patient's chart.

At least six patients went without their medications, police said, and Dettmer tested positive in September for opiates and Oxycodone.

She is charged with six counts of interference with medical services and faces up to 36 years in prison if convicted on each count.