Understaffing has consistently been one of the most pressing issues within Florida’s nursing homes. Facilities cannot keep enough workers on their payroll and therefore have to schedule people for the maximum amount possible, which often leads to worker burnout.
When there aren’t enough people to work in nursing homes, residents often suffer a declining standard of living, as they likely depend on workers for everything from their meals and medications to their daily hygiene routines. Recently, Florida lawmakers have started looking into ways to alleviate the lack of support for those in nursing homes. A proposed bill would potentially help free up nurses and help more people to become licensed or registered nurses.
What have lawmakers suggested?
By trying to free up work time among licensed nurses, a new bill aims to provide a higher standard of support at understaffed facilities while also paving the way for more workers to secure additional education and credentials. Lawmakers want to change what jobs a registered nurse must perform by allowing others with less training to take over specific tasks.
Essentially, the bill tweaks some of the existing rules on training and job responsibilities. It would allow those working as Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) to obtain training as medication aides. Such training would allow them to directly administer medication to residents, a role typically filled by licensed nurses.
Not only would this change free up the nurses for more demanding tasks, but it could also help move more CNAs into better roles and motivate them to become full-fledged nurses. The new program’s training to serve as medication aides would only be available to those who have worked as CNAs for at least a year.
Understaffing leads to neglect
The unfortunate truth is that while nursing homes struggle to bring in enough staff, the people living in them will be the ones to suffer.
Those who realize that a family member has not received appropriate care may want to pursue a claim against a nursing home facility for the ways in which negligence has harmed their loved one. Combating nursing home neglect and abuse requires not just regulatory changes but also pressure from the people directly affected and their loved ones – with the assistance of legal professionals – as well.