It takes a lot of people to run a nursing home safely. Each worker has a specific role to play in the care of nursing home residents. Whether you or a loved one is already living in a Kentucky nursing home or you are researching nursing homes for the future, it is essential to understand the job responsibilities of nursing home workers and what to do if something goes wrong.
Staff Members in Kentucky Nursing Homes
Some nursing home workers do not provide direct nursing or medical care to residents. For example:
- Administrators. Nursing home administrators, such as directors, may be responsible for establishing nursing home policies, hiring workers, and making sure that all internal policies and state and federal nursing home regulations are followed.
- Administrative support personnel. Support workers may be responsible for answering phones and making sure that timely and accurate information is conveyed between administrators, workers, nursing home residents, and the families of nursing home residents.
- Custodians. Custodians have the critical job of keeping the physical nursing home facility safe. For example, custodians may repair ripped carpeting and broken handrails to prevent falls.
- Housekeeping. Housekeeping staff keeps residents safe by disinfecting surfaces to prevent infections, wiping up spills, and collecting laundry.
- Kitchen and food staff. Food must be prepared and served in accordance with food safety regulations to prevent illness, and it is the responsibility of kitchen staff to make sure this is done.
- Activity staff. Nursing homes often offer activities for residents. Activities must be safe and appropriately staffed to prevent injuries.
Other nursing home workers do provide direct nursing or medical care to individual residents. These workers include:
- Nurses. Registered nurses (RNs) evaluate residents. RNs may work with licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) to provide nursing care to individual nursing home residents.
- Nursing assistants. Nurses often supervise Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) who perform much of the daily work involved in caring for nursing home residents. CNAs may, for example, assist residents with eating, bathing, using the bathroom, and getting dressed.
- Rehabilitation therapists. Depending on the needs and goals of a nursing home resident, rehabilitation therapists such as physical therapists and speech and language pathologists may provide necessary evaluations and treatments.
- Dieticians. Federal regulations require that each nursing home has or consults with a dietician. It is the dietician’s job to make sure that healthy food options are provided to residents based on residents’ medical conditions and needs.
- Doctors. Kentucky nursing home residents are under the care of a physician. Doctors should see residents once every 30 days for the first 60 days after nursing home admission and at least once every 60 days following that (less frequent visits must be justified and documented by the doctor in the resident’s medical record), and as needed because of the resident’s medical condition.
Any Nursing Home Worker May Be Negligent or Abusive
Each of the people described above has a job to do. Regardless of their position, they all owe a duty of care to each nursing home resident. When they breach that duty by failing to use reasonable care as they do their jobs or by being purposefully abusive, they should be held accountable. Your loved one, or her estate, should recover for past and future medical costs, physical pain, emotional suffering, and other nursing home neglect or abuse damages.
If your loved one has been hurt in a Kentucky nursing home, you might not know who was responsible or why the injury occurred. Our experienced Kentucky nursing home law firm can do a thorough investigation to find out what happened, why it happened, and whether your loved one or her estate can recover legal compensation.
However, your time to pursue a Kentucky nursing home abuse or neglect case is limited by law. Please contact us any time—24/7/365—to schedule a free consultation about your family’s rights.