When an aging family member requires care in a nursing home, many know to ask about staffing, but sometimes it is difficult to understand what exactly a typical resident needs. It is an important consideration because understaffed nursing homes can be dangerous to residents.
Staffing metrics are often broken down as time per patient per day. So, if for example, a nursing home has one nurse working a 10 hour day with 10 patients, the staffing time can be interpreted as one hour per resident per day. If that same nurse has 20 patients, the staffing time goes down to 30 minutes per patient per day.
How much is enough? A federal study estimates that the clinical needs of nursing home patient can be met with anywhere between .55 to .75 registered nurse hours combined with just over 4 hours of direct care from others such as orderlies, nursing assistants, techs or staff members.
How does the U.S. measure up to this reasonable standard of care? Not so well it turns out. A 2017 study reveals that 70 percent of nursing homes have staffing levels at 30 minutes per resident per day or less, with some as low as zero minutes per resident per day. Direct care levels from others were also deficient, with 30 percent of nursing homes providing less than 3 hours of care instead of the 4 or more hours needed to care for residents properly.
When looking for nursing home care for a family member, ensuring that the home has adequate and competent staffing is one of the most important considerations. Unfortunately, many nursing homes around the country function at frighteningly low levels of staff putting your loved one at risk for injury or premature death so it is critical to ask questions before signing on.
Understaffed Nursing Homes Can Be Dangerous to Residents
Contact an Experienced Iowa Nursing Home Injury Lawyer
If your family member has been injured in an Iowa nursing home, it may very well be due to an unacceptable shortage of staff or staff who lack proper training. In the event your family member is hurt, it is important to seek the help of an experienced Iowa nursing home attorney not only to hold the facility accountable but also pursue compensation for your family member’s injuries. Contact the Des Moines nursing home lawyers of John T. Hemminger for immediate assistance today at 515-283-2116.
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