Nursing homes should have adequate nurses and support available to care for their patients effectively. Injuries and wrongful deaths are most likely to take place when a facility is understaffed.
If your loved one has been injured or has died from a nursing home being understaffed, you might be able to recover damages. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336 today to schedule a free case evaluation.
Regulations Are in Place to Protect Residents
The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 protects nursing home residents’ rights. These rights protect citizens’ privacy, individuality, dignity, and medical needs. The bill of rights also guarantees that the care provided is free from violence and alienation and that each resident is provided with appropriate medical services.
Therefore, a nursing home facility is expected to employ adequate skilled staff to carry out its functions and responsibilities. If you believe an understaffed facility has prevented your loved one from receiving proper treatment, you might be able to take legal action and recover damages.
Why Nursing Homes Are Understaffed
In a nursing home facility, labor is one of the biggest and necessary expenses. This can create an incentive for nursing homes to employ fewer workers to boost their bottom line. Profit can be a powerful incentive that reduces the quality of care a nursing home provides by employing insufficient medical staff.
In other situations, to provide sufficient care for all patients, nursing homes might have trouble attracting or maintaining qualified nurses. High resident turnover can further increase understaffing challenges.
For a free legal consultation with a Nashville Understaffing Lawyer serving Nashville, call (800) 794-0444
Consequences of a Nursing Home Being Understaffed
An understaffed nursing home may have detrimental effects on residents’ basic needs. Staff members can also suffer from extensive stress, which raises the risk of violence and neglect on behalf of the nursing home. If the ratio of residents to staff members increases, violence and negligence can become a significant concern.
When residents are abused and ignored in a nursing home, the damage can cause long-term effects, including psychological disorders, physical disorders, and even death. Understaffing may contribute to worsening psychological disorders or physical conditions that are already present among residents.
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Understaffing Can Cause More Serious Mobility Issues
Many nursing home patients have mobility problems, so they may depend on caregivers for help with moving around. To avoid bedsores and muscle atrophy, being in an understaffed facility for such patients can cause psychological damage as they cannot turn or move their bodies as needed. Consequently, the patient can be highly vulnerable to skin conditions and infections.
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Neglecting Residents Needs
Nursing home residents rely on facility staff members for help with many things, including medicine, food, bathing, and grooming. Malnutrition, dietary shortages, and complications resulting from improper prescription medication can happen if residents’ needs are not met. For example, if a patient is not groomed regularly, they stand a greater risk of developing bedsores and infections.
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The Abuse of Residents
In an understaffed nursing home, many patients suffer physically and emotionally. For residents who may not respond well due to the problems associated with a nursing home being understaffed, staff members may become more violent. The workers have little time to attend to each patient while conducting their duties, which may cause them to exhibit impatience and use excessive force.
Signs of Nursing Home Understaffing Abuse
Each case of nursing home abuse is unique and needs a thorough investigation. There are some signs of a likelihood of violence and neglect to consider. Some of the signs of a nursing home being understaffed, which results in abuse, include:
- Prevalence of bedsores
- Infections treated inappropriately
- Residents left unattended, which can lead to injury or death
- Failure to provide medication
- Wet or dirty clothes resulting from intestinal obstruction, unaltered diapers, or soiled bedding
- Strong urine odor in the hallways
- Medication errors, overmedication, non-dispensed medication
Proving a Nursing Home Is Understaffed
In a personal injury case, the burden of proof lies on you to prove that another party acted negligently and ultimately caused you harm. Therefore, it is important to collect important evidence and support for your claim.
In an understaffed nursing home, administrators struggle to schedule adequate staff for each shift. The overall quality of care is then adversely affected. Nursing home abuse results from not having sufficient staff on hand to provide adequate care.
You will be expected to provide clear evidence to support your argument if you intend to bring an argument on the grounds of understaffing. A Nashville understaffing lawyer can gather important evidence and documentation to support your claim. This support can include:
1. Shift Schedules
To assess the number of staff members at the facility at different times of the day, our attorneys can collect timetables, shift schedules, and payroll records. We can file a subpoena to obtain these records if the facility refuses to hand them over voluntarily.
2. Hiring Procedures
A nursing home might have enough caregivers, but it may also feel understaffed if staff members cannot perform their required duties. When investigating, our attorneys will review their recruiting processes and staff credentials.
3. Nursing Home Charts
A nursing home must have a chart for each resident that contains information about the daily treatment requirements that they must receive. This covers therapy, meals, hygiene, and ongoing care. We can obtain these documents for use in your case.
4. Eyewitness Testimony
Some residents may have also suffered, and members of their families may have complained to the facility’s management. To corroborate and prove any understaffing issues, our lawyer can gather witness testimony that can help strengthen your case.
Learn More About How a Nashville Understaffing Lawyer Can Help Your Case
One way to raise awareness and effectively improve the situation of your loved one is to take legal action against nursing home abuse.
If your loved one has suffered damages and losses that resulted from understaffing in a nursing home, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to learn how a Nashville understaffing lawyer could help protect their rights and fight to win fair compensation for you. Call us today at (800) 842-6336 for a free consultation.
Call or text (800) 794-0444 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form