Support worker charged after a residents death

  1. support worker charged in death of ontario senior

    a female personal support worker (psw) has been charged in the death of an elderly patient at community nursing home on valley farm road in pickering. the victim died as a result of injuries from a fall.

    [color=#333333]according to...
    Last edit by sirI on May 30, '11 : Reason: edited for copyright purposes
  2. Visit sunkissed75 profile page

    About sunkissed75

    Joined: Mar '09; Posts: 281; Likes: 227
    Full-time Mom and PSW (similar to a CNA); from CA


  3. by   GooeyRN
    This is really sad. I wonder what staffing was that day, and if staff was routinely encouraged to transfer patients alone. When I worked LTC as a CNA, there were plans for how many people were to transfer a pt or use a lift, etc. But they were never followed. Lots of people refused to help, or would say well get the life and do it yourself. I wonder if it was understaffing that lead to this sad case. WHY did they not report the fall and injury, though?
  4. by   traumaRUs
    How sad on many levels.

    Not criminal though IMHO.
  5. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    When I worked LTC, short-staffing turned a lot 2-person transfers into 1-person transfers, especially with a lift. I once sent 20 minutes trying to find help so I could help a cognitively intact woman with a hip replacement ambulate to the toilet. She ended up peeing on herself, and wrote a letter to the unit manager about it. Fortunately, she mentioned that I was unable to move her, and tried very hard to get help in time.
  6. by   ktwlpn
    eww.I have worked with a few cna's that were hell-bent on doing things "their way" and have seen injuries like this occur.In my opinion it IS criminal-you have your careplan in place for a reason-this illustrates it perfectly.So many nurses complain about careplans being a time waster-they are a life saver in LTC.
    I have also worked in facilities in which "just get it done" was the norm. If that is the culture in this case things are going to change.
  7. by   sunkissed75
    I feel really bad for the resident's family, but my heart also goes out to this support worker and her family. This story is tragic on so many levels and the worst part is is that it was totaly preventable.

    However, we don't know what it was like at this LTC. Just because something is stated in a careplan dosen't make it realistic. The two person policy is fantastic, but is the facility staffed properly to accomodate such a policy?

    I have been in LTC facilities where this kind of policy isn't realistic. It can be a catch 22. Can't leave the residents waiting, but can't lift by yourself. Ugh... I see how frustrating it is for the staff!! Thankfully I have only been in LTC in the capacity of a dietary aid in highschool and as a student for support worker and now for nursing, so I don't have to worry about this catch 22. We are not allowed to lift by ourselves, end of story... the college has my back!

    I imagine that she didn't come forward with the fall because she knew she would be hung out to dry for not following policy. She probably hoped and prayed the fall wasn't that serious.

    I can't imagine what she must be feeling ~ responsible for someones death, the loss of a job, the humiliation of people talking and giving judgement. Fear of what her future will be like... jail??? I wonder if she has kids and if she does how she explained all of this to them.
  8. by   martinalpn
    At the facility where I work we have a no lift policy and two persons are required to use the lift or it is considered abuse and should anything happen then they will turn you into the authorities herein lies the problem in order to save money staffing is at the bare minimum but it only policy to get the blame and liability off of the facility because of these rules staff are put into teams which doesn't make much sense the blame should be on the facility I can not pass judgement until I see the staffing levels and the acuity levels of the majority of the pts for the last several years yes she used poor judgement but did the facility play a role in this probably so so they the upper management should receive the same fate as this woman
  9. by   flashpoint
    She probably did it by herself a hundred times before. LTCs need to ensure that the policies they make can be enforced. The one I worked for had a lot of policies that were impossible to comply with. I think a lot of the problem here was also that it doesn't seem that it was reported appropriately.
  10. by   flymomrn
    Not reporting the fall is the main problem that I see. We all have accidents, and sometimes they result in patient injury. Had this accident been reported immediately, and the resident received treatment at that time, she may not have died due to the fall. I learned a long time ago that trying to cover up a mistake is a thousand times worse than admitting the mistake and doing what needs to be done to make it right and prevent it from happening again.
  11. by   boogalina
    A 2-person lift resident is exactly that. We staff about 1:9 (CNAs) in our facility. I locate a likely helper, let them know I need help and that I'll have the resident hooked up - by the time that's done, my helper has finished whatever task they were on, appears to help, then leaves as soon as the lift is finished.

    The bottom line is that, while doing a mechanical lift by oneself is possible, lifts and/or slings do fail or break, and when that resident falls, the facility will blame the CNA for not following procedure.

    So I just don't take the chance. It's just not worth it when Murphy's law kicks in.

    In the case of the resident not making it to the bathroom in time, I would probably have left a note with the charge nurse (copy for me) as to what happened to CYA. It is wonderful that the resident mentioned all the circumstances in her complaint letter. Kudos to her!
  12. by   ultrarunner
    As CNA, are they supposed to ask the Registered staff to assess for possible injury post fall?
  13. by   Moogie
    What's really criminal is the short-staffing in many LTC facilities. Although it may be in the policy and procedure manual and/or in the resident's care plan to do a 2-person transfer, if there's no one around to help, the staff member must either wait until someone is available or attempt to do the transfer alone.

    I worked in a LTC facility that had 50 beds and only three staff (2 CNAs, one nurse) at night. There were two sections in the facility and each CNA would staff a section, getting the other or the nurse to help if needed. If one person was busy with another resident and the other was (heaven forbid!) on a break, the remaining person was pretty much stuck---or the resident would have to wait.

    Of course if residents complained if we didn't answer the call lights promptly, we would be yelled at by management. If someone fell because there wasn't enough staff to safely transfer a resident, we would be yelled at by management. If we didn't take our (unpaid) breaks and cost the facility extra money for overtime, we would get yelled at by the management.

    How many people have to fall and get injured---or die---before LTC facilities finally get the concept of adequate staffing?
  14. by   boogalina
    Yes, the nurse should conduct a post-fall assessment. A neurological flow sheet may have to be done on the resident ongoing for the next 24 hours (I think).