The Dangers of Understaffed Nursing Homes
July 9, 2018
Nursing homes are increasingly becoming understaffed as a result of budget costs, a high turnover rate due to stress and a lack of competent, certified staff members to do the work. Patients are not receiving the quality care and treatment they rightfully deserve.
Understaffing is a dangerous problem which can lead to negligence and nursing home abuse. If you suspect your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse caused by understaffing, contact our Phoenix nursing home abuse attorneys for a free, no obligation consultation and learn your legal options.
Causes of Understaffed Nursing Homes
Understaffing in nursing homes can stem from several different causes. In some cases, nursing home owners purposely keep staff ratios low to cut labor costs and reduce benefits packages, all to increase profits.
Additional causes of nursing home understaffing include:
- High turnover rates among staff due to the stressful nature of the work
- Constant pressure on staff to work overtime due to resident care needs
- Not enough registered or certified nursing staff available, or candidates lack the necessary training and education to perform the job
Understaffing causes stress on nursing home workers. When working in these stressful conditions for a prolonged time, employees may choose to leave the job, leaving the facility without adequate staff to care for patients properly.
High turnover prevents nursing homes from keeping patient to caregiver ratios low, impacting patient care negatively. The nursing home may bring in inexperienced staff to fill needs, and these workers may not have the skills or knowledge to properly address medical situations according to the needs of the resident and the policy of the facility.
Employing registered nurses and certified nursing assistants with the appropriate education and background is vital to providing proper care for residents. When nursing homes cannot staff the facility with enough adequately-trained staff members, staff to resident ratios grow, leaving residents without the consistent care they need for their health and safety.
Consequences of Understaffing in Nursing Homes
When a nursing home is understaffed, patients suffer. They often do not get the care and medical attention needed. Staff is stretched thin over long periods, leaving elderly residents or those suffering serious medical conditions to suffer the consequences.
Understaffing in a nursing home can lead to negligence and abuse, violating residents’ rights. Examples of nursing home negligence include:
- Overworked employees not seeing or tending to each resident as necessary
- Ignoring residents’ basic needs, including water, food, hygiene and medications
- Failing to move residents who are unable to move on their own, resulting in bedsores
- Failing to help residents get out of bed, leading to fall injuries
- Verbally attacking residents
- Physically assaulting residents
- Giving residents incorrect medications or dosages
- Emotionally or psychologically abusing residents
Incidents of nursing home abuse may go unreported, as residents may be frightened to bring any attention to the matter out of fear of retaliation. In most cases, loved ones discover nursing home abuse and seek legal help to protect the nursing home resident.
Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney for Help
If you suspect your loved one is suffering negligence and abuse in a nursing home because of understaffing, contact a dedicated Phoenix personal injury lawyer at Phillips Law Group for help. We will review your case, inform you of your legal options and pursue justice for your family.
Filing a legal claim against the nursing home will help prevent further harm to your loved one as well as other residents living in the facility.
Request a free, no obligation consultation today. There are no upfront fees when working with our firm, so there is no risk to you. We only get paid if we successfully recover compensation in your case.
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