Did your loved one suffer harm because of improperly trained or hired nursing home staff? Nursing homes have a duty to provide qualified, properly trained staff to care for residents. If the nursing home failed in its duty to properly hire qualified, trained staff, the vulnerable residents may suffer harm as a result. Nursing homes are responsible for the harm caused by improper hiring and training of staff.
If your loved one suffered injuries at a nursing home because of improperly trained or unqualified staff, you may have a claim. Call the Law Office of Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., LPA today at 419-843-6663 to schedule your free consultation with a nursing home personal injury lawyer.
What is improper hiring of staff at a nursing home?
Nursing home residents are at the mercy of the people who take care of them. The residents are usually elderly, and are sometimes physically weak, lonely or confused. They are completely dependent on the nursing home staff for every meal, for their medical care, for their personal hygiene, and for their safety. Because of this vulnerability, nursing homes have a duty of care to only hire appropriate, well-trained staff.
Nursing homes also have a duty to avoid hiring staff with criminal records or a history of abuse. Federal law prohibits nursing homes from hiring staff members who have neglected or acted violently towards a patient or resident. Prudent nursing homes conduct criminal records checks and other background checks to avoid hiring these inappropriate people as staff. If a nursing home does not conduct criminal records checks or other background checks, they can be liable for hiring a person with a problematic background.
Nursing homes also have a duty to hire qualified personnel. Nursing home personnel are entrusted with dispensing medication and providing other medical care and treatment. The nursing home has a duty to verify job applicants’ qualifications before putting them in a position of providing medical services. If a nursing home hires an applicant without verifying the applicant’s qualifications, and the applicant lied about his qualifications, the nursing home has breached its duty of care. If a resident is harmed by that applicant (now staff member) being unqualified, the nursing home may be liable for damages.
What is improper training of staff at a nursing home?
Improper training covers two different types of training: incoming training and ongoing training:
Incoming training refers to the training staff member had prior to hiring by the nursing home. Examples of incoming, or existing, training include CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) training and obtaining a nursing degree, such as an LPN (licensed practical nurse) or RN (registered nurse).
Nursing homes also have a duty to provide ongoing training to staff as appropriate. They may provide it via in-house employees or by bringing in outside trainers. Ongoing training can cover new techniques, or can be a “refresher” course on necessary skills, such as CPR. Ongoing training can also include providing training for new employees who, at the time of hiring, do not yet have the necessary skills for the job they are to perform.
If a nursing home hires people who do not have the necessary skills or degrees to appropriately perform the duties of their job description, the nursing home has violated its duty to hire properly trained staff. If the nursing home fails to provide necessary ongoing training, it has breached its duty of proper training.
How can poor nursing home hiring practices and training harm residents?
If a nursing home improperly hires its staff, it can hurt residents in the following ways:
- If the nursing home improperly hires an abusive or violent person as a staff member, a resident can become a victim of abuse or violence at the hands of this staff member.
- If the nursing home improperly hires an unqualified person as a staff member, that person’s incompetence can harm residents. This can include medication errors, treatment errors, and other medical care mistakes.
If a nursing home fails in its duty of proper training of staff, it can harm residents in the following ways:
- Staff not properly trained in transferring residents from wheelchair to bed can drop residents, which can result in fractures and other injuries.
- Staff not properly trained in nutrition can cause residents to suffer malnutrition. Malnutrition can contribute to weakened immune systems, which will make the residents more vulnerable to influenza and pneumonia and other contagious illnesses that can be fatal to nursing home residents.
- Staff not properly trained in sanitation techniques can fail to keep the nursing homes appropriately clean and sanitized. This can result in residents contracting more illnesses than they would in a nursing home that complies with higher standards of cleanliness. It can also result in more injuries to residents, who might slip and fall on dirty floors.
What should I do if my loved one was injured at a nursing home?
Nursing homes owe residents a duty of care, and if they breach that duty, they can be liable to residents harmed as a result. Seek the counsel of an experienced nursing home injury lawyer if your loved one suffered injuries at a nursing home. It is a complicated process to notify the proper authorities and file a claim against the nursing home. Your nursing home personal injury lawyer will guide you through this process, and obtain the evidence necessary to prove your case of improper hiring or improper training of nursing home staff.
Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., LPA will evaluate your case and provide the compassionate, professional attention you deserve. Call 419-843-6663 today to schedule your free consultation.