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Nursing Homes Uncovered

During my senior year in high school, I worked at a nursing home located in Barnwell South Carolina. I started working at this facility right around the time I got certified as a nursing assistant. The nursing home was very clean and sterilized. However, I didn’t agree with everything I saw there. Such as, staff not performing the appropriate peri-care or not rotating the patient as frequently as they should. A lot of the patients experienced pressure sores, so I knew what I saw was real. In 2009 of October, William J. McAuley wrote an article called, “Nursing Aides’ Attitudes to Elder Abuse in Nursing” to explain how and why a nurse aid or any health care worker would neglect a patient.

This article discussed the types of abuse that could possibly occur in a facility. It includes physical, sexual, and psychological abuse. Physical abuse is when you physically touch a patient in a harmful way. Sexual abuse could be touching a patient inappropriately. An example of Psychological abuse would be telling a patient no one in their family wants them. When we hear the word “abuse”, we automatically think about hitting or physically hurting someone. In a health facility, abuse can mean something as little as leaving a dirty shirt on a patient to long. These people lives are in health workers hands and I believe every little “accident” is crucial to the patient.

This article references a study on nursing homes in Germany. “A study on nursing homes in Germany found that 79% of nursing home staff indicated having abused or neglected a resident at least once in the previous year, whereas 66% witnessed victimizations of residents by colleagues in 2001.” The writer uses published academic studies to support his main arguments. He then continues to talk about how a nurse’s attitude could affect the way he or she performs as well. For example, if a person comes to work in a bad mood, they are more than likely to take it out on coworkers and patients.

This article mainly covered abuse in facilities rather than specifying which type of patients are more likely to get abused. What made this article clear and informative, is the amount of information and facts it has. Abuse comes in different shapes and forms and the author gives reasons to justify this problem. Coming from the article, the author states, previous studies have revealed that nursing aides are more likely than other nursing home staff to be involved in conflicts with elderly residents, and even to abuse them, because they are the largest group of team workers and because of the work they perform.

“Perceived control” is when a employee makes a decision as his or her job. A decision should be made based off what’s best for the patient. Nursing aides in nursing homes are not around residents as much as the other staff. Most of their duties consist of quick non-talkative task with patients. This is not a reason for a nurse aid to abuse a patient, the writer of the article clearly states realistic assumptions as to why one would do so. According to the article, “11% of nursing aides in sheltered homes in Sweden observed incidents of physical, psychological, financial, and sexual abuse or neglect; 2% admitted committing abusive behaviors.”

To prevent further abuse in facilities, there are ways to spot nursing home abuse. If you currently know someone in a nursing home, make it your priority to check on your elderly relatives. Visit them often to be sure that they’re receiving the best treatment possible. By following these steps, you can prevent nursing home abuse and identify problems before they influence your loved one’s well-being. As we grow older, concerns over nursing home abuse are on the rise. The best time to prepare for an emergency is before it happens. However, it is still important that you trust the caregiver and be respectful. If you observe repeated signs of nursing home abuse and suspect a senior is the victim of abuse, act on their behalf.

The statistics reflecting incidents of abuse involving elderly residents in nursing homes and care facilities are both sad and unpleasant to hear about. More than two million cases of elder abuse are reported every year, and almost one out of every ten elderly individuals will experience some type of elder abuse. Sadly, this situation is a national epidemic of violating the vulnerable, but also, underestimating the problem of elder abuse in the United States. This is a situation I believe needs to be more talked about in the media. The more we keep quiet, the more this continues.

In conclusion, this is a good article I can use for this research topic. I had to do a lot of reading in order to find the factual and helpful information. It was all worth it because this a topic that I’ve always wanted to speak about, but I didn’t know how people would react. The authors of the articles I found did a great job on backing up their information and making true statements. To me, it was important that I include as much information from the article that I could. Hopefully, after one has read this paper, they understand how dangerous and important this situation is. Peoples lives are literally in the hands of health care workers.