As I’ve written many times over the years, the comments made by readers who currently or previously worked in nursing homes are some of the most powerful indictments of serious problems within the greedy nursing home industry! Along with family members and loved ones, these folks know all too well that the system is broken badly and is desperately in need of fixing!

A comment left earlier today by one such reader, a CNA with many year’s experience of caring for nursing home residents, points out the dangers and stresses caused by understaffing. Understaffing is caused by? Corporate greed. The CNA wrote:

“I’ve been a CNA for a while now and I’m exhausted. Today I alone was responsible for 16 residents with nine of the 16 being total care and 11 of the 16 requiring assistance by a minimum of two staff members. It’s impossible!!! Unfortunately those total care residents were only changed once because of the lack of time during day shift.

Inadequate staffing creates a situation that is incredibly hard — mentally and physically — because I care and love my residents. Something has got to change. Our residents are suffering!

No wonder there are so many issues with skin tears. Some CNAs get in such a hurry to get everyone done in time or they’ll get in trouble for running late or if they clock out even one minute late they get their attendance bonus taken away. But let the administrator come out of their office and out of their plush leather desk chair once a week and throw afit because the closets are a mess or there’s a lift in the hallway or some other unimportant bullcrap! They don’t worry about the CNA whose back is broke, with sweat running down their face, or that there are 10 more residents to lay down and change before the end of the shift.”

I believe this comment from a certified nurses aide points out that short-staffing, which is directly related to corporate greed, is the source of suffering for both nursing home residents and nursing staff. I have no doubt the emotional toll is especially heavy for the nurses and CNAs who truly love and care for their residents. The best and brightest staff get burned out and worn out because of inadequate staffing.

The suffering caused by short staffing clearly harms nursing home residents. Everything from medication errors to bedsores can be traced to short staffing. My observation is that inadequate staffing is the single largest cause of nursing home resident neglect leading to illness and death.

When a nursing home CEO (as many do) earn mutliple million dollar annual salaries and the front line caregivers (CNAs) barely earn above minimum wage and often lack health insurance or other benefits, something is seriously wrong with the nursing home industry!

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