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Employees at ResCare claim lack of training for prescription errors, says more is needed

ENID, Okla. - Employees, past and present, of a ResCare center in Enid are speaking out against the company's training protocols.

ResCare is a Louisville-based company with several locations in Oklahoma. They serve the elderly, children, job seekers, and people with disabilities.

Cynthia Stevens, a former employee, said she served as a program coordinator before leaving the company in September. According to Stevens, she left because she felt "the company didn't care" and added there were mistakes made with medications for their clients due to a lack of training.

"I think they need to have a house manager from the time they get there, from the time they arrive and I think they need to have 40 hours of training," Stevens said. "I’ve written a couple of incident reports on myself absolutely, because I have missed one or I have accidentally… when one came in… I was doing another one and I hadn’t realized the other hadn’t finished all the pills so, yes, that person took another person’s pill."

Sheree Powell, communications director of Oklahoma Department of Human Services, said ResCare contracts with DHS. Training, according to Powell, is regulated through DHS. When it comes to medication administration training, there are six residential training modules employees are trained on including communication, skill building, connections, ethical and legal issues.

According to Powell, there are at least eight to 12 hours of additional annual training required.

"The training requirements we have are very, very detailed and very specific to caring for people with intellectual disabilities. It’s a very difficult job, and we know that but we provide a vast array of training for all of these provider agencies," she said.

However, Stevens tells News 4 she doesn't think the current training practices in place are enough for staff members to properly care for their clients.

"People are precious, whether they can think for themselves or not," she said. "In my field and how i’ve seen it, are some of these clients in danger? In my opinion, yes, personally."

The most recent quality assurance survey on ResCare, completed by a division of DHS, found no outstanding deficiencies or complaints.

"One of the main things they are looking for is to make sure that staff are trained. They look individually at staff records, do a random sample of the staff, see if any are not trained or don’t have all of their required training for that year," Powell said.

Kristen Trenaman, director of marketing communications for ResCare, said their employees and caregivers are trained in accordance to state licensing rules and regulations:

"In addition to meeting training standards from a regulatory and compliance standpoint, we’re committed to going above and beyond – to delivering best-in-class training for our employees. We strive for continuous improvement to advance the level of quality care we provide for the individuals we serve. We’re proud of the personalized, quality care ResCare provides, and we know our employees take great pride in that care. ResCare has been helping people live their best lives and achieving quality outcomes for more than 40 years. Today, we employ and train more than 500 employees in Oklahoma - part of our 45,000 compassionate workforce across the country who help people live their best lives every day."