Quote from Kashia
There is little oversight or laws protecting and business is driven by profit.
"Nursing homes" are one of the most heavily regulated industries in the nation having to satisfy both state and federal regulations.
To the original poster: Two good places to check are
(1) The Feds have info on every facility in the country that receives Medicare/Medicaid funds. Go to http://www.medicare.gov/NHCompare/In...ledStatus=True
and search for facilities in the area you want to work.
(2) You can also go to the website for the agency that licenses facilities in your State (tho the Fed link above will have the State Survey results. If you don't know the name of your state agency you can google 'who licenses nursing homes in <your state>. If that doesn't net you a link to the actual agency it should at least get you the name of the entity to google from there.
When it comes to staffing ratios the Feds don't mandate absolute numbers for nursing assistants (tho many States do). The Medicare link (above) does provide information on a facility's staffing but it's quality indicators are based on state and federal averages. Information on how it's determined can be found here http://www.medicare.gov/NHCompare/st...ersion=default
The most recent information I can find on ratios seems to be (at least in part) based limited studies from 10-ish years ago that identified the minimum hours per day needed by different disciplines to reduce the likelihood of quality problems (and it isn't much, 20-30 minutes per 8 hour shift is all). This link is to the 'report to Congress' from 2001 http://www.cga.ct.gov/pri/archives/2...appendix_D.pdf
that outlines the minimums.
Keep in mind that the information gleaned from the above isn't the be all, end all.
*Perfect* surveys are not uncommon but a few tags for things that are unlikely to result in patient harm are not especially worrisome.
A facility that did poorly in their last survey may have had made major changes in admin along with correcting any deficiencies. A facility with a history of good surveys that suddenly tanks may have had a change in ownership, it doesn't mean the facility has gone bad, there is often a brief period of intense turnover when a facility changes hands (that is not necessarily the fault of the new owners, some people just react poorly to changes in policy and leadership).
You can glean a lot of information on a facility from the State and Fed websites but you need to balance that with what you see for yourself (I rarely if ever rely on what I'm told at the interview).
How does the building look?
Is it clean, well lit, maintained? Is the flooring stained or torn? How does it smell? A facility doesn't have to be brand shiny new or have perfect landscape to be good, what matters is how well they keep up with what they have.
How do the patients look?
Are they clean and tidy? Do they seem depressed, distressed or agitated? Are they parked in the halls & dining rooms or are they being engaged by staff, are they doing anything besides sitting there?
How does the building sound?
Are patients yelling, moaning or calling out? If they are, is staff engaging, redirecting, responding? Are phones, buzzers and alarms going off? Is staff responding? Are staff calling back and forth to each other up and down the halls?
How does the staff look?
Do they look stressed or hurried? Is their appearance neat and tidy? Believe it or not you can get some good cues about a facility's attitude toward their staff from that. People who are stressed out and overworked don't have the energy to put a lot of effort into their appearance. People who can't afford to maintain their work clothes aren't being paid decently.