All over the country, it seems every business has a “help wanted” sign posted. From restaurants to movie theaters to grocery stores, the COVID-19 global pandemic has left businesses of all types and sizes short-staffed.
Unfortunately, nursing home facilities have been no exception to this issue. Many nursing home workers and certified nursing assistants have reported feeling burnt out and exhausted, resulting in a mass exodus of departures from long-term care facilities around the country. In light of staffing shortages, however, who will take care of our elderly and most vulnerable?
According to a recent news report, an ambitious new initiative is training National Guard service members to become certified nursing assistants in their latest deployment at a large nursing home facility. The facility was hobbled by a major exodus of employees because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the nursing home shutting down entire wings of the facility. As a result, neighboring hospitals have been able to send new patients to long-term care centers like this nursing home, which is already stretched thin because of its lack of staff.
In response to the staffing shortage, Guard members have been working as certified nursing assistants at the nursing home. From collecting bedpans to clipping toenails and feeding residents, this deployment has been unlike any other for many of these Guard members. In addition, this initiative may only be the beginning. Recently, to address the growing number of overwhelmed hospital systems across the country due to COVID-19, President Biden announced that 1,000 military medical personnel would be dispatched to hospitals across the country to assist doctors and nurses this winter.
Many patients who are well enough to be discharged but too fragile to go home, for example, are inadvertently contributing to swelling and overwhelmed health care systems across the country. Maryland, unfortunately, has been no exception to this phenomenon. Many nursing assistants in Maryland have similarly opted to retire early or move on to new roles that offer better pay and less stress.
Because certified nursing assistants may be feeling especially overwhelmed and overworked, it is crucial that you pay extra attention to your loved ones who may be staying in nursing home facilities. Paying them a visit when it is safe to do so to ensure that their needs are still being addressed and they are being properly taken care of based on existing standards of care will be crucial in light of staffing issues stretching long-term facilities to their brink. If there are signs of neglect or abuse, for example, it is especially important to report the incident so that those who are responsible may be held accountable for their actions.
Can nursing home understaffing be considered negligence?
Yes, nursing home management is required to ensure that there are enough staff members on duty to adequately care for all residents. REgardless of the reason, if a nursing home does not provide sufficient staff to care for residents it may form the basis of a nursing home negligence lawsuit.
Do You Need a Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you or a loved one is staying in a Maryland nursing home and has experienced neglect or abuse, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen today for assistance. Our lawyers have secured more than $65 million in compensatory damages on behalf of our clients and understand the nuances of all kinds of personal injury claims. To schedule a free initial consultation today, contact us at 1-800-654-1949.