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Is staff shortage a key factor toward nursing home negligence?

Many Wyoming readers know what is like to be overworked. When a company simply does not have enough employees on the payroll to cover all the duties necessary to keep a business functioning properly, the workers that do exist often have to double their workloads. This can lead to extreme fatigue, low morale and other problems; in fact, some say staff shortages and overworked employees are key issues in many nursing home negligence cases.

Providing efficient care to all patients is part of every medical worker's highest priorities. Each patient in a nursing home has unique needs and health history. One medical journal reported a direct connection between nursing workload and patient safety incidents, including mortality.

A study cited in the journal stated that adverse patient outcomes increase as much as 30% to 40% in health care environments where nurses are understaffed and overworked. The problem here is that nursing home patients are not responsible for making sure the facility in question has enough workers on hand to address the needs of all residents. Every patient has a right to reasonably expect that the highest standard of care will be provided no matter how many or how few workers are on hand at a given moment.

It may be true that there is a correlation between nursing home negligence and staff shortages or overworked nurses; however, there is absolutely no excuse for disregarding regulations or protocol, or causing a patient injury or illness because of substandard care. In Wyoming and all other states, any assisted living resident who falls victim to nursing negligence may seek justice by filing a personal injury claim in a civil court. Sadly, many such cases are filed by immediate family members of victims whose injuries proved fatal. It is critical that patients and families closely observe quality of care and report any matter of concern as soon as possible; an experienced medical malpractice attorney can help investigate problem situations and remain on hand to provide support if a patient or family decides to file a claim.

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