According to nurses across the U.S., facilities are actually severely understaffed which often results in residents being placed in harm’s way.
While many would assume that nursing homes would not be allowed to stay open and in operation unless they are in compliance with all federal/state regulations, the reality is, most aren’t but are still serving the older adults who require assistance. In fact, Nurses.org reported that nurses are saying that staffing ratios in long-term care facilities are unsafe and the current standards that are in place aren’t “adequate to ensure a competent, safe workplace.”
The source highlighted that federal law “has fewer requirements for nurse staffing in long-term care facilities.” The Nursing Home Reform Law of 1987 requires facilities to have:
- A registered nurse on duty for eight consecutive hours and for seven days a week.
- Licensed nurses on duty 24 hours a day.
- Sufficient nursing staff to meet residents’ needs.
Unfortunately, “federal standards haven’t been updated since the Reform Law was implemented over 30 years ago” and residents’ needs have changed. Residents who are now entering homes are sicker and have “higher-level nursing and rehabilitation needs,” some of which include:
- Complex wound care
- Total parental nutrition (TPN)
- Assisted ventilation
- JP drains
- Life vests
- IV medications
On top of having to tend to and care for residents with greater needs, nurses are expected to perform the following tasks within an eight-hour shift:
- Pass out medication at least twice per shift.
- Monitor blood sugar levels and administer insulin as needed.
- Check vital signs.
- Manage certified nursing assistants.
- Watch mealtimes.
- Perform wound care to those who need it.
- Receive and transcribe physician orders.
- Complete incident reports in the event any occur.
- Arrange for transportation to diagnostic testing and schedule appointments.
Given the long list of duties nurses are required to perform during each eight-hour shift, it is imperative the facility is adequately staffed to ensure all residents’ needs are met. Nurses.org cited that studies have determined that residents who live in an understaffed facility are at a higher risk of:
- Weight loss
If your loved one has suffered in any way on account of their nursing home being understaffed, you may a viable case against the facility. If your relative has developed bedsores that aren’t being tended to or has shown signs of significant weight loss as a result of not being fed regularly, an Omaha, NE nursing home abuse lawyer can determine if you have a viable case against the home. If you would like to speak with a nursing home abuse attorney in the Omaha area now, Rensch & Rensch Law is the firm you need to contact.
The fact is, nursing home residents have rights and when one or more of those rights are violated (i.e. be free from abuse and neglect), you hold the right to take legal action in an effort to help your loved one obtain the justice they deserve.
Rensch & Rensch Law can be reached at:
7602 Pacific Street, #102
Omaha, NE 68114