Registered nurse accused of stealing medication from Sarasota hospital

Nurse Loses Her License

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A registered nurse is facing charges after deputies say she stole medication from the hospital where she worked.

In August 2019, the pharmacy director of Doctor’s Hospital in Sarasota met with Christine Eckles, a registered nurse working at the hospital in the ICU, to discuss discrepancies in the use of hydromorphone, a schedule II controlled substance.

The hospital says it found that in July 2019, Eckles used 140 vials of the drug through an automated dispensing system that requires her fingerprint to gain access. Her nearest peer used just 26 vials. The hospital also says between August 2018 and July 2019, Eckles used a total of 481 vials while her nearest peer used just 95.

Eckles consented to allowing a hospital team member to search her belongings and a vial was found in her purse. That's when hospital staff say she admitted in a written statement that she used the drug once or twice a shift for knee pain, saying she did not withhold it from patients but used leftover medication.

The 47-year-old was charged with theft of a controlled substance.

The State Department of Health issued an emergency restriction on her license to practice, saying in addition to the written statement, a drug test found hydrocodone and carboxy-THC in a hair sample from Eckles and that she failed to enter a drug treatment program as recommended.

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