WALLA WALLA -- A registered nurse pleaded guilty Monday afternoon in Superior Court to stealing liquid narcotics from Providence St. Mary Medical Center last year for her own use.
Carrie C. Daudt, 52, of 1237 Beet Road, entered the guilty plea to violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act -- possession of hydromorphone.
Daudt faces a standard-range jail term of up to six months when she's sentenced later. The prosecution is recommending 30 days -- converted to 240 hours of community service -- in exchange for her guilty plea. In addition, a charge of third-degree theft that also was filed initially will be dropped.
Officials said Daudt, who was working night shift in Providence St. Mary's Intensive Care Unit, diverted the hydromophone -- a narcotic pain reliever in the form of liquid Dilaudid -- starting around January 2011 until about May. The hospital reported it to police June 10 after a patient in ICU complained about not receiving pain medication prescribed by a doctor, according to a police report filed in court.
An internal hospital audit revealed several controlled substances were missing or otherwise unaccounted for and, when confronted, Daudt admitted to the ICU director that she had diverted missing narcotics, the police report says.
In an interview with police June 21, Daudt reportedly said she took from zero to six vials a week. She said she never used the drug at work, but would inject herself at home.
Daudt said in a subsequent police interview in June that she didn't take any other medications. "Prior to leaving (the interview) Daudt said that that was a bad time in her life and she is now seeking help," according to the police report.
Daudt, who was hired by Providence St. Mary in 2005, was placed on leave without pay, but was terminated when her leave expired, according to hospital spokeswoman Kathleen Obenland.
Terry McConn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8319.