Understaffing and Inadequate Training of Employees May Lead to Nursing Home Abuse

nursing home abuse in OhioKaren just graduated from nursing school.  A former secretary with a strong work ethic, she was hired within weeks of graduation to work as an assistant nursing supervisor in an Ohio nursing home.

This is her second working day at the nursing home and Karen is working the night shift, as she requested.  She has not received a floor plan of the nursing home, although she has asked for one three times.  She is on duty tonight with one LPN (licensed practical nurse) and two nursing aides.  She checks the hire date of the other employees and discovers that no one else on duty has been working at the nursing home for more than a few months.  In other words, there is no actual supervisor in the building should there be an emergency.

At minimum, Karen is very uncomfortable.  Although she has a nursing degree, and has studied nursing home care, she does not believe this to be the best situation for the nursing home residents.   Essentially, she has not been trained to work at this particular nursing home facility.

If the nursing home where Karen is employed participates in Medicare and Medicaid, it must comply with applicable federal and state regulations, including the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act (FNHRA), which is part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1987.

Under these federal regulations, nursing homes must have enough staff to provide all necessary care to all residents around the clock.  Having untrained persons as caregivers is a form of understaffing and may constitute nursing home abuse, even if the patients are not physically abused or assaulted.  Patients are more likely to decline in condition if they do not receive services or if necessary procedures are cut short by untrained or overworked nursing home employees.

Understaffing is also associated with high urinary catheter use, poor skin care, inadequate feeding, malnutrition, dehydration, and low participation in nursing home activities.

If a family member or spouse has been abused or injured in an Ohio nursing home or assisted living situation, you may need assistance in handling the matter.  Please contact  Slater & Zurz, LLP by calling 1-800-297-9191 for a FREE consultation with an attorney experienced in Ohio nursing home abuse.

Slater & Zurz LLP  has dedicated a separate website to the subject of nursing home abuse in Ohio.  It is filled with a wide variety of useful information that will provide an education on the most common types of nursing home abuse, signs to watch for that indicate nursing home abuse is taking place, and actions to take if you suspect nursing home abuse is actually happening.

To visit our Ohio Nursing Home Abuse website, please click on the following link:  stopohionursinghomeabuse.com 

We have also published a useful and informative book about nursing home abuse in Ohio. To learn more about the book and to request your free copy, please click here:  Stop Nursing Home Abuse in Ohio Book.   

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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