Quote from aneroo
is there a cna/pt ratio law in your state? to my knowledge, there is not one here in nc. i'm currently in nursing school, and have opted not to get my cna certification back due to poor work conditions. i got burned out! i was working in a nursing home, where we would end up with two aides on the night shift, with almost 50 patients, most of whom were alzheimer's or total care. we would start out with three, but management would send home someone (fire them) without telling us we were now short staffed. it wasn't fair to us and employees, and definitly was not fair to the patients! we physically weren't able to care for them all, turn, change, etc. i quit before something happened to a patient that was somehow related to poor care. i feel horrible for the way things went there, and i am ashamed to say i even worked there and put up with the crap for as long as i did. we were written up for not taking supper breaks (we didn't have time between the two of us), so we'd clock out and go back on the floor, then clock back in after 30 minutes. this is one of my reasons for even choosing nursing school, was to somehow try and help change the poor conditions i have seen. back to the original question, is the a law where you live? how do you feel about it?
report the situation to the ncbon (specifically to donna mooney) and the department of facility services asap.
donna mooney: http://www.ncbon.com/disc-guidelines.asp
(don't report the staff nurses or cna's--just report it as an unsafe staffing situation.)
dfs: jeff horton 919-733-7461 firstname.lastname@example.org
here are some excellent links about reporting problem nursing homes:
many nc longterm care nursing facilities are understaffed to the point of endangering the health of patients. when i worked icu, i saw some pitiful cases come in from nursing homes--severe dehydration, bed sores, etc.
the problem is not with the staff who work in these nursing homes, it is with the staffing ratios which are set by the nc state legislature ("minimum staffing" ratios). a good link: http://www.nccnhr.org/uploads/nhstatestaffingtables.pdf
go to page 18.
these are the current nc nursing home staffing standards:
licensed staff (rn, lpn/lvn)
1 don rn full time included in
for 1-59 occupancy: don may be charge nurse
1 rn 8 consecutive hrs 7d/wk included in
1 rn/lpn 24 hours/7d/wk
total 2.1 hprd [hours per resident per day]
[note: the minimum level for safe care should be at least a total of 4.1 hours of direct care per resident per day... see this important link: http://www.nccnhr.org/govpolicy/246_1275_7800.cfm
nurse assistant staff (na/cna)
no minimum requirement in this category
direct care staff
2.1 hprd including licensed staff but exclude don if
over 60 beds and exclude administrators, clerks,
and nurse educators. for multi-storied facilities, 1
direct care staff on duty every floor 24 hrs/7days/wk.
the nursing staff are (most of the time) caring individuals who are doing the best that they can under impossible circumstances (such as what you described--horrendous and common). the facility will only do what is minimally required and unfortunately, these "minimal" values were legislated back in the 90's at a time when nursing homes housed residents who were not as sick and feeble as the typical population is today. new legislation was introduced in the nc legislature recently (within the past 3 years) to improve the staffing ratios, but unfortunately (for our vulnerable elders), this legislation failred to pass.
in some nursing homes, having dysphagia is a death sentence, because there is not enough staff to feed and hydrate properly--so the patient will die of dehydration or aspiration pneumonia from either not being fed or watered at all or being fed too rapidly.
yes, i agree, the staffing ratios in most nc longterm care facilities are a shame and a disgrace.