It makes sense. If members of the nursing home staff are satisfied with their job, treated appropriately, receive good job benefits, they will be happier and their happiness will likely be translated to better patient care. On the other hand, look closely into the eyes of any employee at struggling company– you can sense their stress, their frustration and their anger. In this sense nursing home patients and staff have interests that are very much aligned with each other.
In nursing home owner’s desire to squeeze every cent of profit out of their facility, nursing home staff and residents are the ones who are ultimately harmed. In some respects many nursing home residents and the people who care for them on a daily basis are very much in the same boat. Just as a nursing home resident may likely have few alternatives to living out the remainder in an undesirable facility; many people employed by the nursing home have few alternatives as well. For many nursing home workers, they have little or no education, many are immigrants who possess few job skills.
Many of the nursing homes that frequently have episodes of patient falls, pressure ulcers, medication errors and physical abuse of residents also happen to be the facilities that pay their employees the least. Is this a coincidence?
Clearly, if there really is a desire on the part of nursing homes to improve patient care, they should first look improving morale of the nursing home staff. Give the staff a $1.00 per hour raise, pay them overtime, give them some flexibility in their schedule, throw in a benefit or two– before you know it overall patient care may begin to improve.