Washington Suspends Care Workers’ Credentials

It’s been a busy week for the folks who decide the fates of care workers in Washington, with the state’s Department of Health suspending the credentials of several workers after allegations of abuse.

Michelle Shyneez Yunus

Most recent was the indefinite suspension of the certified nursing assistant credential of Michelle Yunus. An investigation found that Yunus, who worked in a nursing home at the time, taped a dementia patient’s hands to the patient’s walker, violating  care standards and, legally speaking, abusing the patient.

Yunus appealed the agency’s findings, says the Department’s Adult Protective Services, but did not actually show up for the hearing. Two days later the case was closed with Yunus being found in default.

Yunus still has the right to appeal the suspension but until she is successful in doing so, she is barred from working with vulnerable adults. She must also attend 2 hours of continuing education on restraint use and another 2 hours of continuing education on patient dignity.

To’aiva Mililani Niko

To’aiva Niko’s nursing assistant certification is suspended for at least 5 years, says the state’s Adult Protective Services, because Niko was found to have mentally and/or physically abused vulnerable adults she was supposed to care for at a Vancouver facility. In the case of one patient, it is alleged that Niko hit the patient in the head; in another case, Niko is accused of shoving the patient on at least 2 occasions. And in yet another case Niko is accused of rubbing urine-soaked clothing in a patient’s face.

Alisha E. Burnett

Alisha Burnett’s home care aide certification is suspended over allegations that she quit, without giving notice, leaving a bed-ridden patient without care for 4 days. Burnett has not responded to written requests for an explanation of her actions.

Should Burnett apply for reinstatement of her credentials in the future, she will have to formally, and in writing, offer an explanation for her alleged actions.


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