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Are nursing home workers investigated before being hired?

On Behalf of | Dec 18, 2023 | Nursing Home Negligence

Louisiana families who make the difficult decision to place a loved one in a nursing home do so with the best of intentions. They intend to provide the person with the care they need.

While many facilities provide sufficient care for their residents, others are not so vigilant. When a family suspects their loved one is being mistreated, there is clear evidence of wrongdoing or the resident states there are issues in the nursing home, it is vital to know what can be done to address these concerns. One common problem is the lack of qualifications and questionable background of people working in nursing homes.

Report says background checks are lacking

According to a recently released report, Louisiana nursing homes have not conducted background checks on many non-licensed workers. There are 276 facilities in the state. The Office of the Inspector General looked at nine of them at random over a two-and-a-half-year period.

Of those nursing homes, background checks were analyzed for more than 200 workers who did not need a license. It also assessed 77 who did need to be licensed. The OIG discovered that the background checks were limited from what would be optimal for 49 of the non-licensed workers.

The federal government does not have any detailed requirements that must be considered as part of a background check, but there are issues that should be sought out and red flagged if they are found. A recurrent theme with some facilities was not checking police records to see if those applying for jobs had past arrests and convictions.

If someone has a criminal past, that could lead to them committing violence, theft, outright abuse or other transgressions against residents. Some offenses will render a person ineligible to work in a nursing home. The state pledged to improve its methods in conducting background checks.

Addressing nursing home negligence

Despite the state agreeing to update its policies for background checks, people who are living in nursing homes remain vulnerable to abuse, medication errors, lack of attention, falls and other incidents that can injure them or make them ill. Having unqualified staff is a frequent catalyst in many such incidents.

The failure in nursing homes to ensure their employees are trustworthy, competent and qualified should be considered when there are suspected errors or missteps. When nursing home negligence is believed to have been the cause of a loved one’s injuries, illness or untimely death, it is crucial for there to be a full investigation to determine what happened and why and to know what options are available to hold the facility accountable.