When background checks are discussed, the focus primarily rests on criminal background checks and their importance in helping to keep our workplaces and consumers safe. However, other types of background checks may be just as important from a safety perspective, depending on the position being filled and the industry.
Healthcare and Background Screens: A Recent Example
Perhaps no greater example of this comes from a recent arrest of a South Carolina woman. As announced by the South Carolina Attorney General, the woman was arrested for “allegedly practicing medicine as a registered nurse without a license at seven nursing and assisted living facilities” across three counties.
According to the South Carolina Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s investigation, the individual “allegedly used a State of Georgia Board of Nursing license number belonging to someone else to gain employment as a registered nurse in the seven facilities.” This individual had no qualifications, training, or certifications to provide services as a registered nurse, and placed vulnerable adults at risk for inadequate, dangerous medical care.
While the announcement acknowledges that people are innocent until proven guilty, this arrest highlights how important it is for employers to understand who they are hiring—especially in the healthcare space where falsification of credentials can have severe consequences when lives are in someone’s hands.
Employers are encouraged to review their hiring and vetting practices to ensure that individuals hired to perform licensed work actually possess a legitimate license.