Five nursing homes have been fined by the state for various violations that resulted in injuries to residents.
The state Department of Public Health (DPH) fined Masonicare Health Center in Wallingford $1,300 after a resident fell, breaking a shinbone.
In March, the resident who suffers from congestive heart failure and dementia, and requires two-person assistance when using the bathroom, fell when only one nursing assistant moved the client, according to DPH.
The nursing assistant said she helped the resident without additional assistance because the resident already was trying to get up, the citation states.
“Our residents’ safety is really, first and foremost, our priority,” said Melinda Schoen, Masonicare’s vice president for administration. Staff members follow residents’ individualized care plans “extremely closely,” she said, and “our goal is to avoid any injury.”
Groton Regency Center was fined $1,230 for two incidents in which residents were injured.
In July, a resident who has dementia, and who requires two-person assistance with transfers, fell out of a shower chair and suffered a face laceration.
A nursing assistant said she was helping the resident in the shower and called for help to move the resident to a wheelchair. When no one responded to her calls, according to the citation, she left the shower room and went around the corner to get a staff person to assist. When she came back, the resident had fallen facedown on the floor, according to DPH.
The resident suffered a 4-inch laceration on the face that required six sutures and six staples to the scalp and forehead, the citation states.
In a separate incident in June, another resident suffered a blister on the thigh after dozing off and spilling tea, according to DPH. A nursing assistant had microwaved water to prepare the tea, but there was no thermometer nearby to check the water temperature before giving it to the resident, according to the citation.
Officials at the facility did not respond to a call seeking comment.
Ellis Manor in Hartford was fined $1,210 after a resident suffered face scratches, inflicted by another resident.
In July, a resident, whose diagnoses included chronic kidney disease, was heard screaming. Responding staff found the resident’s roommate scratching the resident’s face. The injured resident’s face was bleeding. The resident was transported to the Emergency Department for treatment to the face and “right arm tenderness from twisting,” according to the citation.
It was an “isolated and unfortunate incident,” said Ann Baldwin, spokeswoman for the facility’s parent company, Affinity Healthcare.
“Upon the state’s review of this situation, there was no way of predicting this patient’s actions as the patient had never shown any signs of this type of behavior,” she said. “Fortunately, there were no serious injuries. Of course the safety and well-being of all of our patients and staff at Ellis Manor is our number one priority.”
Orchard Grove Specialty Care Center in Uncasville was fined $1,160 after a nursing assistant treated a resident roughly while assisting with a shower, causing a scratch, the citation states.
In July, two staff members told state investigators that they saw a nursing assistant “very roughly” pull off a resident’s shoe, fail to use the shower chair’s safety strap, fail to test the water temperature until the resident yelled “too hot,” and use “excessive force” while cleaning the resident, resulting in a scratch near the buttocks.
The resident, whose diagnoses included dementia and anxiety, had a care plan that stated the need for a “gentle touch” during care, according to DPH.
Officials at the facility did not respond to a request for comment.
Beechwood in New London was fined $1,160 after a resident suffered a pressure ulcer when staff failed to remove a leg splint to check the skin underneath.
A resident was admitted in January with a leg fracture, wearing a splint, according to DPH, and records didn’t indicate whether the splint could be removed. The resident was identified as being at a high risk for pressure ulcers as well as skin breakdown due to the fracture, according to the citation.
Although staff assessed the resident’s circulation, sensation and motion, no one contacted the doctor to see whether the splint should be removed or the skin checked, according to DPH.
Beechwood did not respond to a phone call seeking comment.
Being a CNA and working in Nursing Homes, Hospital, and Home Health Care settings, is extremely difficult, mentally and physically. With years of experience, things have gotten somewhat better since I started in the late 1990’s. There is still a long way to go. We are considered the “overworked and underpaid” individuals who care for others who can no longer care for themselves. These People are mostly elderly in Nursing Homes, but not all. Either way they all have feelings, and I have seen too many lonely residents who do not receive the care they deserve. I take my time and give each resident/patient the care required, and then some. I have to be able to work very quickly as I care for, talk to, and find the help needed to achieve the plan of care for each of my residents. Considering that I have an average of 15-20 residents on my assignment alone, the time spent with them is not enough. If the resident suffers from dementia, then caring for the patient is all the more challenging to say the least. I understand that dementia, or those with Alzheimer’s disease, is progressive, so the mood and behavior of the patients can change by the second. It is very sad to have to witness the decline of people who were once independent, hard working, Family members who lost everything they worked their lives for, just to fit the bill required to stay in a very small room with at least one roommate. The CNA’s are sometimes all some of these people have, because their families either cannot or will not be there for them. Not even for a visit. The Nurses and other employees are in and out of the rooms as fast as possible. CNAs take the time and effort to meet the needs of the cars plan, and then some. At least I do, if time permits. I have stayed late and worked for hours without having as much as a bathroom break, nevermind to stop, sit down, and hydrate or eat. The staffing is always at the bare minimum, and if call outs occur, (which is very frequent) then the work load increases significantly, to the point where, at certain facilities, was considered illegal. The nurses rarely help out if at all, so short cuts must be taken. If not then the assignment will be impossible to finish. I have worked with co workers who should be available to help, are so behind in their work it’s nearly impossible to find them. I have call lights lighting up the hallways like Christmas trees, and to have to tell someone in need to simply ” relieve” themselves that they have to wait is, in my view, extremely sad and degrading. Most residents are afraid to ” bother the help” they feel like a burden. I tell as anyone who has ever said that to never feel that way, we are here to help, but in reality, there is not enough help, but I would never tell anyone that hard truth. Then you have the patients, who, for whatever reason, constantly ring the bell, or yell out for help, every few minutes. Just to ask you to come in over and over, because they need a 5th box of tissues, or to have their privacy curtain pulled back and forth 20 times just to end up being in the same spot they were every time.
It may seem like I do not enjoy my Job. To the contrary, I have never done, or want to do, any other form of work in the world. To walk in a residents room, care for them, joke around and make them smile, and to be thanked multiple times just for giving them a bed pan, or putting a blanket on them, because they have waited so long for that simple task to be done, is extremely rewarding. Not so much in the paycheck, but it warms my heart to hear some one that they thank God they have me, to change their adult brief, or get them a glass of water to quench their thirst. I feel so good when I know that I just helped someone, and that is what they look forward to day to day. When a once a year visit from a family member comes, and they tell you all about it, everyday for a week, never gets old. If coarse we all get frustrated. That’s when I go outside for 2.5 minutes to get some air, the whole time knowing I’d better get back to work, or work will never get done. I am sad to say that by the age of 32, I have already lost both my parents, yet I feel a great sense of relief that neither one had to take their last breath in any type of Facility. They passes away at our Family home. The Nursing home for very many has become their home now, or as some say ” I’m here for my last stop in life ‘ I am privileged to be able to care for the people who came before me. The Parents, Grandparents, and Great Grandparents who ask me how my children are, and tell me how fast time really does fly by, and if they could do it all over again and raise their babies. They would in a Heartbeat. The World War 2 Veterans who display no signs of PTSD, they just tell stories of serving this country, without complaint, and then still get up at 4-5 AM every morning, because they worked so hard all their lives, it became a routine. No matter what the situation may be, good or not so good, tired from living my life struggling paycheck to paycheck, working over time and double shifts being away from my children just to make a semi decent living, is always more than well worth it when you are there for some one who needed you, and what you did to help then they couldn’t thank you enough. To care for others fulfills their needs, but more importantly, fulfills my Life. Knowing that I made a difference and did my duty to treat those people the way I would like to be treated, is a feeling you just can’t explain. I am blessed to have cared for and met so many people, weather the working conditions are good or not, is a Gift. My reason for being here is to help people, I just Pray I get the help I need now that I am out of work with no pay from a work related incident. I’m just a CNA who is waiting for Workers comp to pay me if they do, for getting hit in the head by a patient who did not know what or why they did it, and I hope I get compensated before my Daughter’s 7 year olds Birthday and then Christmas all coming in 2 weeks. Looks bleak but I’m staying positive. Please give CNAs more respect or at least realize that one day, anyone could be getting their depends changed every 2 hours.