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Health officials respond to reports of woman posing as nurse

Published On: May 01 2013 10:28:58 PM MDT   Updated On: May 01 2013 10:44:20 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Health officials are warning medical facilities to be on the look out for a woman possibly posing as a health care worker. According to reports, the woman breached security at a Billings clinic a number of times and accompanied doctors on patient checks.

St. Vincent Hospital in Billings is warning employees and circulating security photos of the woman.

NBC Montana talked to the head of nurses at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital, Vickie Groeneweg, about hospital safety and their protocols. Groeneweg says what happened in Billings is frightening to think about.

"That's every hospital or every organization's nightmare, that someone who is not supposed to be in the building will be here as an imposter," said Groeneweg.

She says Bozeman Deaconess has taken extensive preventative measures to make sure each person in the hospital has valid credentials.

"Our nursing staff and the rest of our staff all go through background checks. We call the licensing bureau ourselves to make sure they are licensed." she explained.

Groeneweg says she has always told her staff to be on alert for someone who does not belong on the hospital floor.

"All of the staff have a heightened awareness that if someone is on their department that they don't recognize, they need to ask who they are," she said.

NBC Montana caught up with Rye Sech who has worked at Bozeman Deaconess as a nurse for six years and says it's upsetting to her knowing someone is posing as a health care professional.

"It's a disgrace to the profession because the profession is based on safety and the relationship between the nurse and the patients," said Sech.

Anna Porter has been with the hospital for two years and told us she and her coworkers all know each other well enough to identify an imposter, if one entered their department.

"I know all of my coworkers. We make a point on our unit to know each other and really work together to take care of our patients," said Porter.

Police are investigating, but no arrest has been made.