Patient Abuse by Nursing Staff
The patients anywhere in the hospital or in the nursing homes are often times very vulnerable and sometimes there are nursing assistants and other staff that take advantage of their position by abusing them.
The abuse can be of a very serious nature or a small one, nevertheless it is abuse. The abuse can be mentally or physical or it can be stealing of things from the patients.
Most of the hospitals perform thorough background checks before hiring their staff especially for the positions of a Nurse or a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). In most of the states, those employees who have been convicted of a prior domestic violence or drunk driving offense are not allowed to be hired as a nursing assistant.
In the past however, in some facilities, due to the demand for nursing assistants, the background check had been relaxed and they did not thoroughly check the background of the nursing assistants before they were hired. Due to the increase in abuse, hospitals are now being more careful as their reputation is at stake. Sexual abuse is very common as a nurse (both male and female) will inappropriately touch the patient or have sexual intercourse with them. Because of this, the a nurse supervisor needs to be more alert and can make their rounds at regular hours and check and they should also give a surprise visit when they know that the patient is alone with the staff. The staff and nursing assistants who would commit such an act will also know that there is a chance that they will be caught and will try not to do such deeds. The physical abuse is very difficult to prove unless the culprit is caught red handed or some bruises are noticed. Some elderly patients are hit for soiling their clothes and they are so scared that they will not report the abuse.
- Mental abuse is more prominent in nursing assistants who will tease the patients, or threaten them. Often the nursing assistant here wants to show that they are in control.
- Stealing can include the stealing of cash, food, jewelry or food supplements, as the person stealing is hard to find as the patient meets so many people who work there.
- Most of the nursing assistants are true to their work and they put in hard work and take care of their patients, but a few of them give a bad name to this profession.
- The nursing assistant’s job cannot be done by anyone and everyone it takes some guts and courage to do that type of work and very few are in a position to make a smear in their field.
- The hospital staff has a responsibility to take care of all the patients and see that they are safe under their care. Therefore, they have to have extensive background checks on all of their employees and this involves money and time. This also puts a responsibility on the hospitals on training their staff and making them understand how important their role is in taking care of the patients.
- The nursing assistant should know that if they are caught abusing the patients they might be in trouble not only will they most likely lose their licenses with but also with the law.