Nursing home neglect: a nurse’s story

Most nursing home employees are professional and caring. A lot of times, however, because of the for-profit nature of the nursing home business, patients are neglected because the nursing home is understaffed.

Understaffing can be a real problem in nursing homes. One result of understaffing is falls that occur because patients tire of waiting for someone to help them out of bed to use the bathroom. Another result is mistakes in distributing medications.

One Blog we came across is “Nursing Home Reality” and it contains stories by nurses and nursing home professionals who share their story in hope of “creating positive change.” A recent posting caught our eye, An Inside View of UNDERstaffing. It was written by a registered nurse working in a nursing home. It illustrates the problems of short staffing.

I am an RN in a nursing home licensed for just over 200 residents that offers skilled, intermediate and personal care. This facility has four nurses stations/units. I work on a unit with 38 residents. Many of these individuals have dementia.

My unit is allowed four nurses aides and an LPN on day shift, 3 nurses aides and an LPN on evenings, 1 – 2 aides and an LPN on nights.

While I try hard to understand the “budget” for staffing on my unit, my repeated requests for additional help has been ignored. In August I had eight (8) resident falls on my unit and they all happened on evening shift. My unit’s LPNs are frequently out of time compliance on distributing medications.

I would like to see mandatory staffing based not only on the number of residents, but also on their needs. This is especially important on a unit that has residents with many needs.”

At The Farber Law Group, we find that many incidents of nursing home abuse and neglect are caused by short staffing.

If one of your loved ones has been seriously or injured as a result of nursing home staff negligence or abuse, contact The Farber Law Group, a law firm that specializes in nursing home abuse and neglect.

For more information, see our Nursing Home Resources