Employee at nursing home in Albion voices concerns about staffing
I am an employee with the Village of Orleans nursing home that past two years. It is having issues again, this time with staffing. Is this a reality in nursing? Sometimes yes. Sometimes from staff turnover, and other times from disasters like we had with Covid-19.
There were some poor choices coming from the top for sure but it was also something new that none of us were ready to deal with. In the end we lost a lot of people but were able to provide excellent end-of-life care, due to the staff who hadn’t quit or got Covid themselves, being unified with a common enemy and goal.
We also saved many of the residents there with consistent care and nourishment. Administration also played a part by eventually giving hazard pay and offering bonus/incentives to staff when staffing went to a critical level.
The staffing issue now has been artificially created by one thing: greed. We have filled the building with new admits, at times getting 5 in one day. For any business this is a good thing with dollars for people at the top.
But administration has repeatedly minimized or outright ignored concerns of nursing staff as the work load continues to expand, with no steps to up staffing, retain current staff, or incentivize staff so we don’t get overwhelmed or frustrated, then quit, as I have.
I’m not the first and I won’t be the last. I’ve talked with the current administrator and his boss. I voiced concerns of basic human needs not being met because of the rapid growth of admits with no way to buff up staffing.
What it comes down to is they pretend to be powerless, as anything that could make a difference has to go through the union, with examples being competitive wages or an attendance incentive or a temporary bonus for critical staffing levels. This could take months. Ask some of our residents when was the last time they were offered a shower. Can they wait until the union clears it?
On top of filling the place up, they have decided to take patients with a high level of care/needs. Example being someone with multiple wounds, on IV medications, poly-substance abuse, behaviors, etc. Everyone needs care, but if we are unable to provide the resources to care for the patients, why are we still taking them in? When I say resources, I mean nurses and aids, mostly!
The staff that remains from the Covid-19 outbreak remember all the extra effort and care we put in to keep who we could alive and healthy, and those we couldn’t, comfortable. Now the survivors are neglected.
I’m leaving The Villages and I don’t see any changes or urgency from anyone in administration with the actual power to do something – I’m asking for help from outside sources.