Nursing home staff have some of the same concerns about resident care as the residents and their families. Most nursing home workers want to provide adequate and timely care to residents but feel this is not possible because of policies and other hurdles set by administrators.
Unfair labor practices, understaffing, mismanagement, and other concerns affect resident care. On the other hand, reduced services and changes in care during a strike can also negatively impact the safety and security of residents. During a strike, nursing homes must find and hire trained temporary staff, usually at a much greater cost.
Administrators Must Find Staff to Provide Care During a Strike
When more than 30 caregivers and staff went on strike from a nursing home in Redding, California, in 2018, they gave the nursing home a 10-day notice. This allowed the administrators of the River Valley Nursing Home to prepare for the strike and ensure patients still received care.
While the temporary workers were able to address patient needs and provide basic care, the sudden change in staffing and the missing beloved nurses was likely confusing and traumatic for residents who did not have the cognitive ability to understand the situation. Larger nursing home workers’ strikes create even more disruption and cost.
Residents often experience reduced services and a decrease in quality of care during a strike, putting their safety, health, and overall well-being at risk. Members of this especially vulnerable population have complex medical needs that require careful attention and care.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-201-3999
Striking Nursing Home Caregivers Fight for Better Conditions
A major cause of nursing home neglect is related to staffing conditions. Nurses and other highly-trained caregivers have to choose which residents to see, rush through their work, and work double shifts just to provide basic care. Facilities nationwide are understaffed.
Caregivers and staff are sometimes undertrained for the tasks they are asked to perform, but nursing home administrators will not shell out the money to hire additional nurses or other skilled caregivers. Managers struggle to meet strict budgets while the big corporations employing them get richer.
As reported in the Redding, CA, strike, high turnover rates are also common. Turnover causes problems for residents because training takes time. Strikes place even more stress on residents, including:
- A decrease in meal quality, quantity, and potential nutritional value
- Sanitation of their room and the greater facility
- Access to vital monitoring and regular health care services
- Hygiene and personal care support
- Safety and security
- Ensuring they receive medication as necessary
- Potential loss or theft of personal belongings
- An increased risk of nursing home abuse and neglect
Since both mismanagement and a strike can put nursing home residents at risk, the best option would be for the facility to hire the necessary skilled caregivers—often certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs)—and pay them a competitive wage for at least the duration of the strike, and perhaps after.
Residents Injured Because of a Strike Have Rights
Abuse and neglect can occur when nursing homes are understaffed, when staff is overworked, and when caregivers do not have the training, resources, or time to do their jobs with the required commitment and care. These are many of the reasons why staff members strike. They want to provide better care but are not given the tools to care for the residents properly.
At the same time, a strike itself can increase the risk of abuse or neglect for residents with the most complex medical needs.
If a resident may have a viable legal case if they suffered a preventable illness or injury during a strike and it occurred because of:
- A new or untrained caregiver
- Intentional abuse
- Intentional or accidental neglect
If your loved one sustained injuries during a strike, or because of staffing issues that could lead to a strike, they may be able to take legal action against the nursing home and its administrators. No matter the situation, nursing home owners and administrators must provide adequate care for residents and safeguard against abuse.
Discuss Your Case With a Lawyer
If your loved one required medical care because of abuse or neglect in their long-term care facility, an attorney from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm wants to discuss their case with you as soon as possible. You may be able to take action on their behalf to pursue compensation or help them through the process.
If we find your case warrants filing a claim, we are ready to go to work on your case immediately. We handle nursing home abuse cases on a contingency-fee-basis.
Call (800) 201-3999 now to learn more.