Visitor Question

Lawsuit Against Nursing Home for Working Short Staffed?

Submitted By: Alicia (Lexington, KY, USA)

I work as a Nursing Assistant at a nursing home. My fellow co-workers and I have worked short staffed more than 5 times in the last month. Short staffed is 3 nursing assistants and 53 residents. Here recently it has been 4 aides with between 49-52 residents.

This has been an ongoing problem and has not gotten better. One Saturday there were two aides on the floor. Then they had to pull a restorative aid which made it three. I know families and residents can sue nursing homes but, what about the workers who have to work under such stressful conditions?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Alicia,

There seems to be little doubt that your working conditions are quite stressful. With that in mind, fortunately none of the nurses or assistants have been injured as a result of the short staffing. Whether the nursing home knows it or not their short staffing may result in a substantial personal injury lawsuit in the unfortunate event one of the patients becomes injured as a result of the current staffs’ inability to care for that patient.

When it comes to your rights as nurses and nursing assistants you are governed by the Nursing Practicing Act of the State of Kentucky.

Go to the State of Kentucky’s Nursing Board’s web site at www.kbn.ky.gov

There you can learn not only about the laws and regulations which apply to nursing and hospital facilities, but you can also specifically find out whether the amount of nurses and nursing assistants employed at your facility is legally appropriate for the type of nursing home you are employed in.

There exist differences in the legal rights for nurses and nursing assistants dependent upon whether the facility is state or privately owned.

The nursing site has a plethora of important information, including telephone numbers and other contact information for your questions and complaints. Take a look at the site, you’ll be glad you did.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: November 16, 2011

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