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10 Questions That Reveal A Nursing Home’s Staffing Issues

nurse visiting senior patient

U.S. Nursing Homes Must Do More to Recruit, Train, and Retain CNAs

Understaffed nursing home teams have suffered disproportionately during the pandemic, especially certified nursing assistants (CNAs) who consist as much as 40% of a nursing home’s workforce. These employees support the daily needs of residents and long-term care patients, such as dressing, bathing, food preparation and eating, rehabilitation, hygiene, keeping communication with family members, socialization, and ambulating.

When CNAs do not have support or are treated poorly, it ultimately puts nursing home residents in harm’s way. Among many other oversights, call lights will be missed, hygiene becomes unhealthy among residents, patient morale, safety, and mental health reach low levels, medication routines lapse or become too familiar, and rotating residents at risk for bed sores are quickly forgotten.

The nursing home industry is facing a shortage of nursing assistants nationwide. Still, as one of the nation’s top-rated nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys, we see each day how the intentional understaffing and inadequate training of nursing home staff produces deadly outcomes for residents. And, it is almost always driven by poor leadership and failed facility management.

10 Staffing Questions to Ask Nursing Homes Administrators Today

More than 600,000 nursing assistants provide personal care, assistance with daily activities, and clinical support for 1.4 million nursing home residents nationwide. We advise you to visit with your loved one’s nursing home director to understand the challenges and role of CNAs better. Start by asking these questions to ensure understaffing is not intentional and that the care your family or friend is receiving is not in jeopardy.

  1. Where does the nursing home post information about the number of nursing staff, including CNAs?
  2. Does the nursing home offer a training and continuing education program to help retain CNAs?
  3. Is there a focus on building a trusted relationship between leadership and care staff?
  4. How does the nursing home check to make sure they don’t hire workers who have been found guilty of abuse, neglect, or mistreatment of residents or have a finding of abuse, neglect, or mistreatment of residents in the state nurse aid registry?
  5. Do all staff wear name tags that show their training credentials and certification?
  6. Do you struggle with employee retention? If so, when is the last time the facility was fully staffed?
  7. Is there licensed nursing staff 24 hours a day, including a Registered Nurse (RN) present at least 8 hours per day, seven days a week?
  8. How can I speak to some of my loved one’s CNAs?
  9. How are CNAs working with physicians to ensure resident medical needs are being met?
  10. Has there been a turnover in administration staff, such as an administrator or nursing director, in the past year?

If nursing home operators are unwilling to pay to hire, train, and maintain enough staff, CNAs are too often the ones left shouldering an enormous patient load. And sadly, it is the residents who will pay the price.

Never Ignore A Nursing Home’s Staffing Problems

Suppose you suspect an understaffed nursing home facility has contributed to the decline of a loved one’s health or put them in danger during this unprecedented time. In that case, the nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Chicago’s Levin & Perconti are experienced and equipped to help you.

Call us toll-free at 877-374-1417 or in Chicago at 312-332-2872 to speak with one of our experienced nursing home negligence lawyers in Illinois. The call is free and confidential. You will never pay any fees unless we successfully resolve your claim.