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Bergen County Nurse's License Revoked After Video Purportedly Shows Her Slapping Ventilator-Dependent, Bed-Bound Patient

Bergen County

The State Board of Nursing has permanently revoked the license of a Bergen County Registered Professional Nurse after a video purportedly showed her slapping and roughly treating a ventilator-dependent, bed-bound patient she was assigned to care for in his home.

Dorothea Harvilik, RN, voluntarily surrendered her license, to be deemed a permanent revocation effective immediately, in a Consent Order with the Board that resolves the allegations against her.

The patient’s mother set up a camera to record Harvilik’s interactions with her son after she noticed scratches on his hands.

Harvilik was an employee of a Teaneck home health care service agency assigned to provide skilled nursing care to the patient in his home. After the video purportedly caught her abusing the patient, the agency terminated Harvilik for “professional misconduct which relates adversely to patient care or safety.”

Harvilik’s employer reported the termination to the Board, as required by the state’s Health Care Professional Responsibility and Reporting Enhancement Act. The law requires, among other things, that health care entities notify the Division of Consumer Affairs in writing when a health care professional working for them is fired or sanctioned for reasons relating adversely to patient care or safety. Upon receiving notice of Harvilik's termination, the Board immediately opened an investigation, which resulted in the immediate and permanent revocation of Harvilik’s license.

Under the Consent Order, Harvilik agreed to the revocation without making admissions to the allegations against her. Under the order, she shall not hereafter apply for a reinstatement of her license.

Patients who believe that they have been treated by a licensed health care professional in an inappropriate manner can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504- 6200.