Florida teen gets jail in health worker ruse
A Florida teenager was sentenced Wednesday to a year in jail after he was convicted on four felonies linked to his impersonation last year of a physician assistant in a hospital emergency room.
Matthew Scheidt, 18, will then spend a year under house arrest, followed by eight years probation.
Scheidt was convicted in August of two counts of practicing medicine without a license and two counts of impersonating a physician assistant at Osceola Regional Medical Center in August 2011, when he was 17.
Scheidt told investigators that the ruse began when he went to the hospital to get a badge for his job as a clerk at a doctor's office across the street. But someone botched the paperwork.
"Their error was putting me in apparently as a physician assistant into their computer," Scheidt told investigators in August. "Let's even say that I said I was a physician assistant. Let's even say that I was. Are you that stupid that you are just going to put me in the system as that, without any credentials or any paperwork or nothing?"
Prosecutors said Scheidt used the badge to work in the hospital emergency room for weeks, changing bandages, handling IVs and helping to conduct exams.
After his arrest, Scheidt acknowledged having performed CPR on a patient suffering from a drug overdose, authorities told CNN affiliate WFTV.
"I felt so uncomfortable even doing that. And, you know, the only reason why I did do it was because there was nobody else in there. And I'm not going to let her die," Scheidt told investigators at the time, according to the television station.
During his interrogation, Scheidt confessed and admitted he had made mistakes, WFTV reported.
"I messed up," he said. "I should have addressed the issue when it was given to me. I just didn't want any questions asked, like I just wanted to learn as much as I possibly could."
He was arrested in September 2011 and allowed to bond out.
But in January, he was back in police custody.
The charge: impersonating a police officer.
A nursing supervisor at the hospital said no one was available to comment.
Copyright 2012 by CNN NewSource. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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