High Staff Turnover? What to be on the Lookout for in a Skilled Nursing Facility

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Do you have a loved one in a skilled nursing facility? Did you know that a nursing facility with a high rate of staff turnover can be dangerous to your loved one? Let us discuss what to be on the lookout for in a skilled nursing facility.

1. New faces. Working in a skilled nursing facility can be a very demanding position. Many of the patients require full assistance with their activities of daily living, including bathing, feeding, ambulating and repositioning. In addition, residents of skilled nursing facilities often suffer from dementia or memory loss, making all of these tasks more challenging. The demands of the job coupled with lower wages can lead to a high turnover rate of skilled nursing facility staff. Due to high staffing demands, facilities eagerly recruit and quickly hire new staff. Thus, noticing new faces whenever you visit your loved one, may be a sign of a high staffing turnover at the facility. If this is the case, you should be on the lookout for the following red flags.    

2. Signs that staff are overworked. High staff turnover can lead to staffing shortages, requiring the on duty staff to take large patient assignments. Attempting to manage many patients with the demands described above can lead to the staff rushing from room to room, forgetting residents’ requests, and not checking on residents as frequently as is required by the standard of care. While it may feel difficult to attribute blame to a staff member who is overworked, the situation lends itself to too many risks including, falls, bedsores, and medication errors. Unfortunately, it can also lead to the residents experiencing increased feelings of loneliness and isolation.

3. Signs that your loved one is not receiving the proper care. One of the unfortunate outcomes of high staff turnover can be that the facility, in its eagerness to quickly recruit and hire new staff members, may hire people with no experience and provide them minimal to no training. Overworked and under-trained staff can create an extremely dangerous situation for the residents. Signs of neglect, as a result the staffing issues, may include: red or purple marks on your loved ones body from not being properly turned; odor or other signs that your loved one has not been bathed; a report that your loved one has fallen; noticing a patient propped in a wheelchair for a prolonged period of time; witnessing staff members snap at residents or treat them roughly; or even increased anxiousness or depression in your loved one.

If you suspect that your loved one has suffered harm as a result of high staff turnover in a skilled nursing facility, an attorney, specializing in elder abuse or nursing home negligence, can assist you with investigating the situation and discussing your legal options. We are your local, experienced, law firm! Do not hesitate to call, chat or click here to contact us today!