Did anyone see the news reports about Washington stepping into NH care

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    I was at work last night (I work in LTC) and a resident had her tv on to a national news channel. The topic was about Washington stepping into NH care. There was a lady on there who had a family member that had been in an abusive home and was also a nurse herself. I agreed with alot of the program saying that Wasington needs to step in to help out with abuse happening in NHs. What ticked me off was the bit of time I was listening to this program I never heard "not all NH's are like this", I took the tone of the program as "all Nursing Homes". Also what ticked me off was they were pushing part of the abuse off on LPN's! Stating LPN's aren't trained to be in charge and should not be charge nurses. First off it wasn't not that hard to become the one in charge! And I had been a CNA for 6 years, I was used to not being in charge, but I know what my residents need and what has to be done and I do it and/or assign these tasks to my CNAs and make sure they are done. Let's not lay the blame on the Nurse or the nursing staff anymore! Let's start looking at administration! Are they checking out who they hire? Or are they hiring just anybody so they have "bodies" and can say they are up so state resident/staff ratios!?!? Does administration come out on the floor and check into how things are going? How the residents look and feel (mentally and physically)?? What about adminstration bucking up and taking the blame?!!? Why say "well it is the nursing staff's fault"???
  2. 11 Comments so far...

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    Let's not lay the blame on the Nurse or the nursing staff anymore! Let's start looking at administration! Are they checking out who they hire? Or are they hiring just anybody so they have "bodies" and can say they are up so state resident/staff ratios!?!?

    Hi there,

    You make a lot of valid points in your post. Here in Pittsburgh we had the situation where an elderly woman w/ altzheimers walked out of her nursing home and subsequently died of heart problems / it was very late at night on an October evening. Unfortunately, rather than step up to the plate the staff on duty placed her neatly into her bed and simply told her family that she passed away in her sleep.

    The trial has just begun and allready it has been made known that the facility was severly understaffed. This week two CNA's were put on the stand to attest to the understaffing. Both women, who had prior experience at other facilities as CNA's, stated that they interviewed at the facility, were hired that day or the next and then began working the floor the day after that. Both remarked at how surprised they were that they were put to work when their clearances, etc. had not even gone through yet.

    It's a double edged sword now days. Do you remain understaffed and unsafe or quickly hire staff without properly training them to your facilities processes and remain unsafe?

    I am not a nurse yet but I do feel that because of this incident in Pittsburgh it has made a negative impact on most nursing homes in our are.

    P.S. The CNA's above were in no way accountable for the woman who passed away. They were simply attesting to the facilities understaffing.
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    Hi, yes I agree in that case it was definately the nurses fault as far as lying and not knowing where the resident is (which believe me at times is an Unbelievably hard thing to do...Residents attempt to elope frequently and it is a monumental task keeping them put...but a very undeniably necessary task that CANNOT be ignored and skipped). But I also wonder is this the first time that the nurse in that situation did any type of questionable or falsifying act? Also that does prove that administration is at fault for not keeping staffing up (which believe me I know is extremely hard to do...if there isn't anyone applying for a job who do you hire?....This is where admin. needs to offer incentives and make working conditions better. Also states need to increase standards in LTC, change the resident/staff ratio which is what scares new staff off with also the lack of decent pay)

    I was glad to hear from you, I was hoping I was not the only that feels so passionately about the negative impact the media has on the feelings of people towards nursing homes, and the lack of governmental and adminstrative knowledge of such issues and the lack of attention in the facilities.




    Originally posted by colleen10
    Let's not lay the blame on the Nurse or the nursing staff anymore! Let's start looking at administration! Are they checking out who they hire? Or are they hiring just anybody so they have "bodies" and can say they are up so state resident/staff ratios!?!?

    Hi there,

    You make a lot of valid points in your post. Here in Pittsburgh we had the situation where an elderly woman w/ altzheimers walked out of her nursing home and subsequently died of heart problems / it was very late at night on an October evening. Unfortunately, rather than step up to the plate the staff on duty placed her neatly into her bed and simply told her family that she passed away in her sleep.

    The trial has just begun and allready it has been made known that the facility was severly understaffed. This week two CNA's were put on the stand to attest to the understaffing. Both women, who had prior experience at other facilities as CNA's, stated that they interviewed at the facility, were hired that day or the next and then began working the floor the day after that. Both remarked at how surprised they were that they were put to work when their clearances, etc. had not even gone through yet.

    It's a double edged sword now days. Do you remain understaffed and unsafe or quickly hire staff without properly training them to your facilities processes and remain unsafe?

    I am not a nurse yet but I do feel that because of this incident in Pittsburgh it has made a negative impact on most nursing homes in our are.

    P.S. The CNA's above were in no way accountable for the woman who passed away. They were simply attesting to the facilities understaffing.
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    There are many rules for nursing homes to follow. They cannot lock doors, they cannot restrain, in our local nursing home there are some patients that are habitual elopers. The staff is vigilant but can't catch them every time. Maybe leg braclets would help.
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    It's this simple. The aging population is growing. And it ain't getting any easier to find people who can lift 3 times their own weight, have the sensitivity to know when a aphasic is ill, and the stomach to spend their weekends up to their elbows in excretions/secretion....all for the same pay that a fast food worker makes.

    And it's not going to get any easier to find people to do that kind of work, by questioning their competence and commitment to care in the national media.
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    Originally posted by lever5
    Maybe leg braclets would help.

    My facility does utilize leg bracelets that set off alarms when they go past certain areas. It does help, but some nights that is all you do is chase residents, and I have seen on those nights several residents setting off alarms in different areas of the building, and one managing to get out. But the alternative of alot getting out and critically injured....is unimaginable.
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    door and personal alarms are only half the battle...when someone elopes and you do manage to find them...what if they don't want to come back into the building?...all you can legally do is walk with them until you can convince them that they would be more comfortable inside.

    Meanwhile you were already shortstaffed and your other 29 residents have been abandoned.

    not only that, you need some prior history of elopement before using restraints...you can't just go around putting equipment on everybody who enters any type of establishment where nurses are employed...you don't always know who will need one before it's too late...One gentleman decided to walk out of a local assisted living and was promptly hit by a semi right in front of the building...that was his first (and last) elopement
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    Hi everyone,

    In response to some of the other posts, especially Greer's, the media (at least as far as local T.V. news reports) in Pittsburgh are portraying the nursing homes in a negative light by not saying anything positive. I have not seen any T.V. stories showing the "other side" - understaffing, etc. The paper has been doing a little bit better with many articles regarding the nursing shortage, hospitals paying student tuition, etc. Many people that have parents and relatives in nursing homes, especially the one involved in the trial, have sent encouraging letters to the editor saying that the staff is wonderful and that their relatives have been more than adequately taken care of.



    But I also wonder is this the first time that the nurse in that situation did any type of questionable or falsifying act?
    - Greer128

    Also, during the trial I believe the two CNA's that I talked about in my last post said that when they left their shift at 11:00PM the resident, who later passed away, was sitting in her chair watching T.V. in her room. However, that patient's chart states that the resident had been dressed in her pijamas and put into bed around 9 PM. I'm not positive if the nurse (on trial) was the one that wrote that into her chart.
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    door and personal alarms are only half the battle...when someone elopes and you do manage to find them...what if they don't want to come back into the building?...all you can legally do is walk with them until you can convince them that they would be more comfortable inside.
    -Wolfox

    It is a very fine line that you walk when working with people whose bodies are one age and their minds another.

    I don't think that the general public really thinks about that. I know I was suprised when I interviewed for a job working with the mentally retarded. Not that many of these people need to be treated with kid gloves but I realized that the people that I would be working with may be aged 20, 30, 40 years old and have the mental capacity of a 5 year old. Yet, legally, I had to treat them as if they were 20, 30, 40 years old. Legally could not restrain them if they became out of control. Could not talk them out of doing something completely insane or potentially dangerous.

    Yet, if I did any of the above I or any of the staff did the above we would be the bad guys.
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    Originally posted by colleen10
    Hi everyone,

    In response to some of the other posts, especially Greer's, the media (at least as far as local T.V. news reports) in Pittsburgh are portraying the nursing homes in a negative light by not saying anything positive. I have not seen any T.V. stories showing the "other side" - understaffing, etc. The paper has been doing a little bit better with many articles regarding the nursing shortage, hospitals paying student tuition, etc. Many people that have parents and relatives in nursing homes, especially the one involved in the trial, have sent encouraging letters to the editor saying that the staff is wonderful and that their relatives have been more than adequately taken care of.



    But I also wonder is this the first time that the nurse in that situation did any type of questionable or falsifying act?
    - Greer128

    Also, during the trial I believe the two CNA's that I talked about in my last post said that when they left their shift at 11:00PM the resident, who later passed away, was sitting in her chair watching T.V. in her room. However, that patient's chart states that the resident had been dressed in her pijamas and put into bed around 9 PM. I'm not positive if the nurse (on trial) was the one that wrote that into her chart.
    Our DON has circulated several articles about the above noted instance-I also read about this online at the local newspapers web site-apparently evidence suggests that the doors to the courtyard off of the secure unit were propped open-several cigarette butts were found on the ground.I believe that the staff had also been putting in many hours of overtime.One moment of carelessness can easily result in a death and the end of your career...


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