After CNA training you are no doubt ready for your new career as a caring, efficient nursing assistant. One of the topics your CNA training may not have prepared you for is nursing home neglect. What are the early signs of neglect? What should you do if neglect or abuse are occurring at your place of employment? Who do you call?
You may not have learned this in your CNA training, but the following information will help you recognize nursing home neglect and abuse and also advise you on the best course of action to take.
After CNA Training – Recognizing Nursing Home Abuse on the Job
Often nursing home neglect isn’t considered as horrific as nursing home abuse, but neither should be tolerated. Nursing home residents who cannot care for themselves have a right to loving and proper care. All patients have a right to the following:
- Proper nutrition and hydration
- Proper medication in the correct doses at the appropriate time
- Call lights answered, every time
- Prevent accidents, falls, or residents from harming themselves or others
- To be turned in their beds so relieve pressure points and reduce the chance of bed sores
- To be taken to the toilet or to be provided with a bedpan when needed or requested
- To be respected at all times
- For their personal property to be respected
- To reside in sanitary conditions and to receive help with personal hygiene
Of course, the above list would be considered neglect. Abuse is much more evident and would include verbal, mental, emotional, or physical abuse. Neglect is also considered a form of abuse in the court of law.
If you observe any form of abuse or if you feel that you are being forced to neglect a patient you should take action immediately. After your CNA training, when you find your first job, you may be apprehensive to speak up. If you don’t, who will? You need to put the needs of your patients first at all times.
After CNA Training – Are You Being Put in a Bad Position?
Your CNA training may not have discussed these situations, but look out for the following:
- Too many patients for each CNA to handle
- A time limit for meals, dressing, grooming, or other tasks. Patients shouldn’t feel rushed. If you, as a CNA are forced to feed a resident quickly in order to complete mealtime according to schedule, this is a form of abuse.
- Being instructed by a superior to do anything you know, through your CNA training, is wrong, such as not changing the bedding, not bathing, or not tending to the resident in one way or another.
If you experience any of these situations, you need to report the occurrence immediately. Since you are an employee, reporting to the director of nursing or anyone in the facility is not a good idea. The state licensing and certification division of your state or, if serious enough, the police department, are better courses of action. If you are wrongfully fired for reporting an incident, the Department of Labor and an attorney should be contacted.
We hope you never have to face issues like this after CNA training, but if you do, you’ll know what to do. For additional information on CNA training and careers, continue to follow our blog.