Inattentive Staff in Virginia Nursing Homes

Placing a loved one in a nursing home is a major decision, and many times, a painful one. Families and patients trust nursing home staff members to provide their loved ones with the care and attention they need.

Sadly, this does not always occur, and in many nursing homes, there are not enough staff members to provide proper care. The few members on staff are often overworked and unable to give each patient the individualized attention they need. To make up for this lack of attention, some staff members neglect patients and sedate them with medication.

If you or your loved ones have questions about inattentive staff in Virginia nursing homes, read the following information before contacting a lawyer. A seasoned nursing home abuse attorney could help you recover compensation if a staff’s negligence caused your loved one to suffer injuries.

Profit Over Patients

Although they care for countless elderly and infirm patients, nursing homes are businesses at their core. Their primary goal is to generate profit, and some homes choose to lower costs and boost revenue by reducing the number of hired staff to dangerously low levels. This is dangerous in a variety of ways, but sadly, understaffing has become a way of life for many nursing facilities.

When normally hardworking and attentive staff members are overworked and burned out, they cannot provide their patients with the attention and care they require. As they become more and more tired, serious errors related to medical care, prescription drug distribution, and supervision begin frequently begin to occur, posing a threat to all patients in the home.

Profit is important, but it should never take precedence over patient care, especially at a skilled nursing facility.

Common Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

It can be difficult to notice the signs of an inattentive staff in Virginia nursing homes. Fortunately, the following signs can be a sign of staff neglect in a nursing home:

  • Patient bruises and bedsores
  • Widespread use of restraints
  • Frequent falls (or other accidents)
  • Unclean rooms and hallways
  • Inattentive or hard-to-find staff members

When staff members are unable to properly supervise their patients, they often resort to using restraints and overmedicating. Restraints can be dangerous, especially when they are overused or used improperly. Patients who remain in restraints for an extended period are prone to choking and suffocation.

Who is to Blame for Staff Inattention?

It can be remarkably easy to blame overworked and exhausted nursing home staff members for their mistakes, but ultimately, administrators are at fault. It is the legal and moral responsibility of nursing home administrators to hire qualified staff members and ensure an adequate number of workers are present on each shift. This is because administrators are usually the ones to hire staff and make schedules.

Nursing homes that understaff can be reported and disciplined by state and local officials. Nursing homes receive a significant amount of their income from Medicaid and Medicare patients, and when they do not provide a reasonable standard of care, they can lose funding and face closure.

Talk to an Attorney About Inattentive Staff in Virginia Nursing Homes

Inattentive staff members can easily pose a threat to nursing home patients, even when they are well-meaning and compassionate. Nursing home patients deserve the care they pay for and their loved ones deserve peace of mind. Profit should never come before people.

If you have been neglected in a nursing home, you may be able to take legal action. Contact a lawyer who understands issues related to inattentive staff in Virginia nursing homes today.