CHICAGO, IL – Certified nursing assistants make up nearly 40 percent of a nursing home’s workforce. CNAs support the daily need of residents, such as dressing resident’s, help bathing, hygiene, medication administration, food preparation and eating, keeping communication open with the family, and ambulating.
The nursing home industry is notorious for having understaffed facilities nationwide, especially a lack of CNAs. Ultimately, if they do not receive the support they need, it can put residents in harm’s way. CNAs have played an important role in providing quality, person-centered care to residents. High CAN turnover or low retention rates have been linked to lower quality care and lower quality of life for nursing home residents.
Questions to Ask Nursing Home Administrators
More than 600,000 nursing assistants across the country help the more than 1.4 million residents in nursing homes across the country. If your loved one is a resident in a nursing home, start by asking the nursing home administrator questions to ensure there is no intentional understaffing. For example, some nursing homes have to cut costs and unfortunately, cut costs in the wrong areas such as staffing levels. It’s important to be proactive and get the answers you and your loved one deserve.
- What type of training do recently hire employees/nurses go through? Does the nursing home offer continued training or education programs to CNAs?
- How does the nursing home conduct backgrounds checks to ensure hired workers have not been found guilty of abuse or neglect or mistreatment? Do they check the state nurse aid registry?
- Where does the nursing home facility post information regarding the number of staff members, including CNAs?
- Do staff wear name tags that can clearly display their credentials and certifications?
- What is the employee retention rate? Does the nursing home have a high turnover rate? When was the last time the nursing home was fully staffed?
- Is there a licensed nursing staff 24 hours a day? This includes a Registered Nurse present for 8 hours per day, 7 days per week.
- How are CNAs working with residents’ physicians to ensure their medical needs are being met and understood?
- What has the turnover in administration staff been in the last year? This includes an administrator or nursing home director.
- How can you speak to your loved ones CNA?
- Where are daily activities posted for residents to participate in?
Resident-to-Staff Ratio is Important
Medicare doesn’t’ require a minimum resident-to-staff ratio, while leads to many nursing homes having fewer staff and more residents than they can care for. According to Federal data, most nursing homes report having fewer staff than they actually report.
For example, a facility may be well-staffed one day where there were 8 residents to one caregiver. In another facility that’s severely understaffed, there may be 18 residents to one caregiver. It becomes nearly impossible for nurses to tend to that many resident’s needs.
When there is an understaffing in a nursing home facility, essential tasks are neglected, including:
- Adjusting and turning residents to prevent pressure ulcers
- Checking up on patients and their health
- Keeping residents clean from infections
- Preventing catastrophic falls from occurring
Report Nursing Home Abuse
If you or a loved one has experienced neglect or abuse in a nursing home facility due to understaffing, please contact the experienced attorneys of Dinizulu Law Group. We have the skills, resources, and knowledge to hold the facility, and possibly administrators and nurses accountable for the neglect your loved one endured. Call our office today for a free consultation at (312) 384-1920.