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Understaffed Nursing Homes are Serious Risk to Resident Safety

If you are planning on placing a loved one in a nursing home, one Nevada caregiver has a bit of advice: “Keep them at home.”  The worker — who went by the pseudonym “Rachel” in a recent report by Las Vegas’ 8 News Now  — cited frustration with a state system that doesn’t seem to require a specific ratio of workers to residents.

In fact, all 48 Nevada nursing homes were recently cited for deficiencies by Nursing Home Report Cards.

Rachel told 8 News Now that she covers an overnight shift and is sometimes required to care for as a many as 10 residents at once. She makes $10 an hour, and trained certified nursing assistants at the facility only make roughly 50 cents more than that.

“Understaffed, underpaid and overworked,” she said, according to the report. “You can’t be constantly working, worried about this one falling, when you’ve got all these other people to take care of.”

The report cites inspection reports that showed one resident prone to wandering left a facility and went to a casino. Another woman in a wheelchair fell down a flight of stairs and injured her back. The residents were alone in both cases.

Nevada Health Care Association and the state office both disputed the findings of the Nursing Home Report Cards website. They admitted there is a shortage of potential workers in the industry, but maintained that the homes are currently fully staffed.

Brian Lee with Families for Better Care disagreed in the case of the unsupervised, wheelchair-bound woman who fell down the stairs.  “The staff stretched too thin, couldn’t supervise, couldn’t watch the resident,” he said.

Understaffed nursing homes and the resulting risk to patient safety is hardly unique to Nevada.  The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide sufficient staff and proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.