To provide the right care for all patients, nursing homes must have enough staff. Unfortunately, many nursing homes in the U.S. are significantly understaffed. This shortfall creates a particularly tense work environment where nursing staff are overworked, underappreciated and expected to perform duties they are often not qualified or licensed to perform.
Understaffed nursing homes can result in patients being neglected and abused. If your loved one has suffered harm in a nursing home, contact a qualified Harrisburg nursing home abuse attorney for help. We can review your case and determine your legal options during a free consultation.
Why Nursing Homes are Understaffed
Nursing homes are understaffed for a number of reasons. Sometimes, nursing home owners intentionally understaff to cut down on labor costs and reduce benefits packages in order to increase profits.
Other causes of nursing home understaffing include:
- High turnover rates among staff due to being overstressed
- Consistent pressure to work overtime due to patient care needs
- Lack of qualified and certified staff to perform the duties
Often times, nursing home staff simply get burned out, which can lead to fatigue and poor patient care.
Consequences of Understaffing
Patients rely on the skilled care and assistance provided by competent staff and suffer needlessly when nursing homes are understaffed. There are two primary consequences of understaffing in nursing homes - negligence and abuse.
Negligence happens when staff blatantly ignore the needs of the patients they care for. Common forms of nursing home negligence include:
- Ignoring a patient’s basic needs such as food, water and clothing
- Targeting one or more patients to ignore for the day
- Leaving patients unattended in bed all day. which can result in sores and infections
Nursing home abuse can also affect a patient’s emotional or physical well-being. This happens when staff members:
- Verbally threaten patients or start name-calling
- Overmedicate or fail to medicate
- Hit, kick, punch, or handle patients roughly
- Engage in psychological torture
Preventing Understaffed Nursing Homes
Preventing understaffed nursing homes is possible if facilities strictly adhere to guidelines for proper staffing and treatment of patients. Nursing homes should be held responsible when the actions of their staff cause harm or injury to patients.
If you believe your loved one is being neglected and abused, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit against the facility. An experienced nursing home abuse attorney can help you file a lawsuit on behalf of your loved one.
Contact a Dedicated Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Nursing home understaffing is a serious problem with catastrophic consequences for patients who are already vulnerable and dependent on care. When staff members are overstressed and overworked, there is a greater risk of high turnover. This increases the ratio of patients to staff members, resulting in an inconsistent level of care patients need and deserve.
Contact a dedicated nursing home abuse lawyer at Schmidt Kramer today to schedule a free no obligation, legal consultation. We can evaluate your situation and determine if you have a valid case to pursue compensation against the nursing home.
All of our services are based on contingency which means there are no upfront costs or fees involved. You only pay our firm if we help you recover fair compensation.