Three Ways Staffing Problems Can Lead to Nursing Home Abuse in Oklahoma

We read about frightening neglect and abuse cases in Oklahoma newspapers and see them on the evening news: elderly residents of nursing homes are mistreated, physically harmed, and even sexually assaulted. The most shocking part of such stories is that nursing home staff members, the people who were hired to care for our seniors, are often the perpetrators in these cases.

Some Lawton nursing home abuse incidents are the sole fault of nursing home staff members and nurses, and a significant number of these cases could be prevented if the nursing home or adult care facility had taken more care in assembling, choosing, and vetting its staff members. Here are three common ways in which Oklahoma nursing homes can be careless or negligent in staffing their facilities:

  1. The nursing home does not properly train its staff. Being a staff member at an adult care facility requires careful training in a variety of areas. Not being trained correctly or thoroughly can lead to both neglect and abuse. If a staff member is not properly trained to report medical issues or concerns, then a patient could go weeks with an injury or illness without treatment. If a staff member is not properly trained to move, restrain, or transfer patients, then a patient could suffer a serious fall or other injuries. If a staff member is not properly trained to deal with the emotional stress of working in a nursing home, then the individual may physically or mentally abuse patients when he or she becomes stressed or frustrated.
  2. The nursing home simply doesn't have a full staff. It is a sad fact that caring for nursing home residents does not come with a competitive salary, despite the fact that such work can be emotionally demanding, physically tough, and generally difficult. The result is that nursing home staff jobs come with a very high turnover rate, and adult care facilities are often scrambling to fill openings. At the same time, many nursing homes may leave job positions open to cut costs. The result of inadequate staff is an extremely dangerous environment for the residents. Residents might not get their medication, food, or water at the correct times or in the correct amounts. Some may be exposed to dangerous fellow residents who are not being watched, while others may wander from the grounds.
  3. The nursing home does not perform sufficient background checks on staff members. Because nursing homes often have trouble with staff turnover rates and understaffing, some may begin cutting corners by neglecting to adequately vet incoming employees - a mistake that can have very serious consequences. A nursing home may hire someone without the correct experience for the job, leading to preventable patient injuries. Another nursing home may hire a staff member with a history of drug charges and substance abuse issues, thus running the risk that the employee will steal patient pain medication. Another nursing home may hire a staff member with a history of sexual assault charges who then begins to sexually abuse seniors at the care center.

If your elderly loved one has been harmed at an Oklahoma nursing home, and if you believe that the incident could have been prevented if the nursing home had properly vetted and trained its staff members, then talk to a nursing home abuse attorney today. Please contact Lawton based nursing home abuse and neglect attorney Scott Ray at (580) 248-5557.

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Scott Ray Law Firm

702 SW A Ave
Lawton, OK 75301
Phone: (580) 248-5557
Fax: (580) 248-5556
Toll Free: 888-472-7558
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