Staff Morale and North Carolina Nursing Home Injuries

The level of satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) that nursing home workers find in their jobs can have a real effect on the likelihood of injuries to residents. A new study published in The Gerontologist found a discrepancy in staff happiness at for-profit and nonprofit nursing homes, a difference that can affect the quality of patient care.

If you suspect that your loved one is being mistreated or neglected, contact a Raleigh nursing home abuse attorney.

Types of Nursing Homes

There are several different types of nursing homes found across the United States. Some facilities are run by government agencies. There are also nonprofit homes that receive government funding, but also rely on charitable donations and resident fees. In addition, there are for-profit nursing homes that are in business not only to take care of residents, but to make money for parent companies or shareholders.

The quality of care varies widely between the different types of nursing home facilities. Recent studies have shown that on average, nonprofits provide better care than their for-profit peers.

Studies on staff morale are contributing to the concerns about the quality of care in for-profit nursing homes. These facilities have a high rate of staff turnover and low rates of job satisfaction. Their employees are less satisfied with their supervisors and are more likely to be considering a career move than their nonprofit peers. They also maintain a lower staff- to-patient ratio, stretching staff and patient care thin.

Compared to for-profit facilities, employees of nonprofit homes enjoy a higher staff-to-patient ratio so patients have more access to help. Nonprofit staff members also tend to stay longer in their jobs than their for-profit peers, which helps foster better relationships with residents.

Staff morale may also help reduce the number of deficiencies found during nursing home inspections. The most common deficiencies across the country are accident environment, food sanitation, quality of care, professional standards and infection control.

North Carolina Nursing Home Deficiencies

The most common deficiencies in North Carolina nursing homes are professional standards, food sanitation and accident environment, in that order. Many of these deficiencies may be abated by hiring and keeping competent staff in larger numbers. In North Carolina, almost 75 percent of nursing homes are for-profit, and nonprofit homes only account for 22 percent of facilities.

Families who are helping an older or disabled loved one find an appropriate nursing home facility should consider the ownership structure of a home. Since nonprofit homes seem to provide better care, it may be beneficial to narrow down options to those types of facilities.

If you believe that a loved one has been injured by nursing home abuse or neglect, please contact an experienced personal injury attorney.