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The Dangers Of Undertrained Staff At Nursing Homes

nursing home staff administering medication to resident
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Madeleine Jones
February 22, 2022

Nursing home abuse can involve terrible care and deadly outcomes. We hear it every time we talk to our clients. We also see it on the news more often and wonder how can someone be driven to the point of abusing an elder person. Many of these incidents often go unreported until the non-stop abuse leads to trauma, severe injuries, and even death. Among the numerous causes of nursing home abuse, the undertrained staff is one of the most important ones.

What Do We Mean By Undertrained Staff?

Unqualified and undertrained staffing can start as early as the hiring process. Some homes don’t do thorough employment and background checks on aides and nurses. Be it because they are short on time and people to check a potential employee’s record or to cut corners, some nursing homes rush through the hiring process. Once the staff is hired, many facilities put them to work right away without training on the facility’s care rules, procedures, or policies, which are there to provide proper care for their residents.

The Effects of Hiring Undertraing Staff

 Undertraining has significant effects on elder care facilities and nursing home residents including:

Medication Errors

Medication errors are the number one cause of death and health complications in nursing homes all over the country. Be it from administering too little or too much or the wrong kind of medication, there are rookie mistakes that can be a result of poor training.

Poor Supervision

Understaffind goes hand in hand with undertraining. Staff members often work up to shifts of 12 hours at a time and have too many patients under their care. This causes neglect to certain patients just to get through their day. Poor supervision can cause residents to suffer from pressure ulcers or bedsores, fall injuries, and preventable infections – for example urinary tract infections that can result in sepsis and death.

Undertraining is an issue that begins with the nursing home itself. It encourages a lousy workplace in which your loved ones can be abused and neglected. The facility to which you entrust with caring for your loved one can quickly become the most dangerous place for them. Nobody should go through neglect and abuse caused by the poor care and management of a nursing home.

Essential Tasks That Are Neglected By Understaffed Nursing Homes

  • Checking up on residents and noting changes in their health
  • Adjusting patients to prevent bedsores
  • Keeping the residents clean to prevent any infections
  • Preventing them from falling by helping them move around

Why The Nurse to Resident Ratio Is Important

Understaffing is a major issue in nursing homes that reduces the standard of care and puts the patients at risk. However, a good ratio of staff to residents actually improves health among residents and increases the quality of care. Nursing home facilities are staffed on a ratio of residents to staff members. A staff member that has fewer residents has fewer chances of becoming overwhelmed, and since Medicare doesn’t require a minimum ratio of resident-to-staff, many facilities have more residents than staff members.

Whenever this ratio is off, caretakers are more likely to be overwhelmed with responsibilities. They struggle to provide meals, care, and medication to the residents depending on them. Many residents constantly need help using the bathroom and getting dressed. Without help, these residents feel neglected and helpless. 

It is the nursing home’s responsibility to fix it whenever this ratio is too low. When a nursing home fails to maintain the right ratios, injuries are suffered by their residents. 

Holding a Nursing Home Liable For Neglect And Abuse

Not every fall and injury can be preventable. However, this should not stop you from scheduling a free initial consultation with a personal injury attorney. There is plenty of elderly abuse that can be attributed to negligence and abuse as a result of untrained staff. 

By working with a nursing home abuse attorney, they can determine if the facility failed to prevent the injuries or was negligent. Here are some of the examples of liability:

  • Improper care techniques
  • Failure to develop a fall prevention plan
  • Not training staff
  • Rushing the hiring process
  • Understaffing
  • Failure to fix hazardous conditions, such as defective flooring and wet floors
  • Failure to provide care according to the fall prevention plan

Related Post: Nursing Home Injuries: What To Look Out For?

This is not a complete list of the kind of abuse and negligence that can happen in nursing homes. A nursing home abuse attorney can help you determine if you have a viable personal injury claim or not. If you think your loved one was injured by a negligent nursing home staff member, contact Cogburn Law today at (702) 748-7777.