How Could Nursing Abuse Happen?

It’s hard for me to imagine how nursing home abuse could ever happen. People go into the medical field to be caregivers and help those who need assistance the most. Why then, would those people be negligent or abusive towards the people they work to assist? I was very puzzled at this predicament, so I spoke to a family friend, who works as a nurse about this issue. I also found some information on the website for Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC. The lawyers at Seaton & Bates, PLLC work to help those who have experienced nursing home abuse in Johnson City, Tennessee.

After doing some research, I found out that there are a couple different reasons that contribute to nursing home abuse in the United States. Nursing homes are affected by legislation at a national, state-wide, and local level, so different communities deal with different issues, but there are situations that affect nursing homes in some capacity nationwide.

One of the biggest factors that contribute to nursing home abuse is a lack of proper funding. Some nursing homes are sponsored by Medicare and Medicaid, so they must take in residents that are sponsored by these programs. When these residents enter the nursing home facility, the nursing home receives their program benefits as payment, but this payment may not cover the cost of their expenses. Nursing homes are then without a way to properly claim these lost expenses.

This systematic lack of funding goes on to affect lots of different aspects within a nursing home. Nurses working in an underfunded nursing home may be responsible for up to 15 patients per day. As a nurse, the top priority is making sure that every patient is receiving their necessary medication and services to remain stable and healthy. While a nurse is making sure that everyone is stable, they may not have time to keep patients comfortable and give them the attention they deserve.

Most nursing homes pay a starting wage that is below the average way for nurses in the United States. Because of the inability to pay a competitive salary, many nursing homes experience a high turnover rate, as nurses are hired and then quickly leave for work elsewhere. This creates an environment that is difficult for the nurses that do choose to stay and work for an extended period of time, as they are unable to have a working schedule that is constant and routine. A constant influx of employees creates a work environment that changes on a weekly basis for nurses.

The last situation that contributes to nursing home abuse is mental issues with some of nursing home patients. Some patients may be dealing with mental issues in their old age such as dementia. Because of this, they may be confused or scared when a nurse that has been treating them for weeks tries to clean them or feed them medicine. In more severe cases, patients with dementia may actually try to attack the nurse who is attempting to assist them. This then will lead to a physical altercation between the patient and nurse technicians who must subdue the patient.