I’ve got a confession to make. Sometimes when I’m in my office I make personal calls. Sometimes I even take time away from my day to forward email chains of perverted jokes to friends. Other times, I’ll talk with my colleagues about my weekend plans— sometimes even on a Monday. I’d imagine my style of intermixing personal plans during the course of my workday is fairly normal as many of us spend a good chunk of our waking hours plugging away at our jobs.
Since its my blog, I generously chose to call these daily diversions ‘personal plans’, but surely these could be aptly categorized simply as ‘distractions’. While for all these mini-distractions I encounter— or create for myself in the course of the day, I would at least like to think that these distractions aren’t really that problematic because I still make doing what needs to be done at my job priority number one.
I began to consider the daily distractions almost all of of face during the course of the day– both at work and at home— when I read about an almost unbelievable episode of extreme nursing home neglect involving staff at a Iowa nursing home. An internal video shot at All American Restorative Care in Washington, IA depicts what I’d consider to be a situation involving far more than a healthy dose of distraction during a Christmas party at the facility.
The video from the facilities video-monitoring system confirms that over the course of 48 minutes, at least four nursing home employees walked past a patient who had fallen to the floor and struck her head. While two of the employees did have the courtesy to ask the woman if she was ‘ok’, no one actually initiated any follow-up to confirm that her claims were indeed accurate.
An investigation by officials from the state confirmed the rampant distraction— or more accurately– complete neglect of the the patient. Equally alarming, the state’s investigation revealed that even though the patient appeared to be “pretty out of it” (indicative of a possible head injury), several nursing home staffers elected to bring her back to her room without any neurological assessment.
Approximately 90 minutes after the woman was taken back to her room, staff finally chose to send her to an emergency room where the patient was treated for a laceration to her head.
Whatever the underlying reasons are for staff literally ignoring an obviously injured patient, their behavior is without excuse and is simply emblematic of an environment where patient needs are ignored. Particularly with an injury to her head, this patient is truly lucky that her injury wasn’t exacerbated by the distracted— err— grossly neglectful staff members. Clearly, these people need to be reminded about focusing on their jobs.
For laws related to Washington nursing homes, look here.
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