Nursing homes across the country have been instructed to ban all outside visitors to combat the spread of the new coronavirus among a vulnerable patient population, but consumer advocates and industry experts say the virus has put a spotlight on the underpaid and overworked staffers who care for vulnerable adults. Based on known infection control procedures, nursing homes were well aware of the dangers of the virus and failed to take the appropriate steps to prevent patient injuries. The root cause of the many problems of nursing homes is that you have too few workers with too little time.
Appropriate steps include proper training and adequate number of staff to anticipate and meet the needs of the residents. But many elder care facilities are understaffed, with low-paid certified nursing assistants, or CNAs, carrying most of the load of patient care. CNAs are often asked to perform patient care duties beyond the scope of their expertise.