If nursing homes fail to hire and train qualified staff properly, vulnerable residents may suffer harm as a result. They have a duty to provide qualified and properly trained staff to care for residents and are responsible for any harm caused by improper hiring and training. Did your loved one suffer harm because of nursing home staff who were improperly trained or hired?


Nursing Home Personnel Accountability


The people responsible for taking care of nursing home residents hold their lives in their hands. Typically, these residents are elderly, often physically weak, lonely, or confused, and rely entirely on the nursing home staff for meals, medical care, personal hygiene, and safety. Due to this vulnerability, nursing homes have a duty only to employ appropriately trained staff.


Avoiding Hiring Inappropriate 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, it can be liable for hiring a person with a problematic background.


Ensuring Qualified Personnel


Nursing homes must also hire qualified personnel who are entrusted with dispensing medication and providing other medical care and treatment. The nursing home has a responsibility to verify the qualifications of job applicants before assigning them to provide medical services. If the nursing home hires an applicant without verifying their qualifications and the applicant lied about their qualifications, the nursing home breaches its duty of care. If that applicant harms a resident (now staff member) due to being unqualified, the nursing home may be liable for damages.


Foundation for Care and Safety of Residents


Proper training plays a crucial role in nursing homes as it establishes the foundation for resident care and safety. Incoming training serves as the initial training that staff members should complete before commencing work at the nursing home. This training encompasses CPR, nursing degrees, and other essential certifications. If the nursing home hires individuals without the necessary skills or degrees to fulfill their duties, they violate their duty to hire properly trained staff from the beginning.


Obligation of Nursing Homes to Provide Ongoing Training


Nursing homes must ensure staff is adequately equipped to care for residents with various conditions by providing ongoing training. They have a responsibility to help staff learn new techniques, refresh essential skills such as CPR, and offer training in-house or through outside trainers. Neglecting to provide these training opportunities breaches the duty of proper training.


Lack of Training for New Employees


Improper training also arises from neglecting to train new employees adequately. Often, nursing homes hire individuals who lack the necessary skills for their assigned duties. This inadequate training can result in medical errors, falls, and other injuries. Failing to provide initial training for new hires in nursing homes puts both staff and residents at risk.


Communication Issues and Potential Abuse


Improper training can also cause staff to lack empathy and respect for the residents. Inadequately trained staff may not grasp the importance of treating residents with dignity and respect. They may also struggle to communicate appropriately with residents, potentially resulting in emotional or verbal abuse. Similarly, inadequate training can make staff less attentive to residents’ needs, resulting in insufficient care and neglect.


How can poor nursing home hiring practices and training harm residents?


Improper hiring practices in nursing homes can manifest in various forms. One of the most critical risks involves the hiring of staff with a history of abusive or violent behavior, resulting in residents becoming victims of abuse or violence from the very individuals responsible for their care. Furthermore, nursing homes that employ staff without the necessary credentials or qualifications jeopardize residents’ safety by increasing the risk of medication errors and other medical care mistakes.

Even when nursing homes hire qualified staff members, they must adequately train them to provide quality care to residents. For instance, insufficient training in transferring residents from a wheelchair to a bed can lead to dropping, causing fractures and other injuries. Similarly, a lack of nutrition training can result in malnutrition, weakening residents’ immune systems and making them more susceptible to contagious illnesses such as influenza and pneumonia.

Lastly, inadequate training in sanitation techniques may result in substandard cleanliness and hygiene within nursing homes. This can heighten the risk of residents contracting illnesses and infections, as well as increase the likelihood of slip and fall accidents due to dirty floors.


What should I do if my loved one was injured at a nursing home?


When you entrust your loved one’s care to a nursing home, you rightfully expect them to provide adequate attention and care. However, if your loved one suffers injuries due to the negligence of poorly trained or unqualified staff, the nursing home may be liable for their suffering. Seeking the advice of an experienced nursing home injury lawyer can help you navigate the complicated process of filing a claim against the nursing home and bringing their neglect to justice. With years of legal knowledge and expertise, your lawyer will work tirelessly to obtain the necessary evidence to prove your case and secure the justice your loved one deserves. Contact the Law Office of Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault today to schedule your free consultation with a nursing home personal injury lawyer, and let us help you seek justice.