Archive for January, 2011

California Law Mandates Display of Federal Ratings

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

California is the first state in the country to pass a law making it mandatory for all nursing homes to display their federal rating reports. Nursing homes can receive up to 5 stars, and the ratings (handed out by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) must now be prominently displayed.

The ratings are based on health inspections, results of health complaints, staffing hours, and the quality of care. Many advocates against the bill argue that these things are difficult to judge.

What we’d really like to know is what nursing homes plan to do to reduce noise and create calmer environments for their patients. Maintenance staff could easily grab a few Green Glue 5 gallon buckets and renovate the rooms, one at a time. Perhaps then those in their last days could rest peacefully – without listening to their neighbors and the constant drone of machines.

Mandatory Background Checks in Nursing Homes?

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

A recent article on Kentucky.com chronicled the life of a bill filed by the state senate, mandating that all nursing home employees should be subject to criminal background checks. Current state law requires nurses to undergo checks, but says nothing about administrative employees, maintenance, or those who prepare food.

Even though these employees do not necessarily have direct contact with patients, they are still in their vicinity and have indirect contact with them on a daily basis. Those living in nursing homes are often incapacitated on some level and, as such, can’t work to protect themselves – against anyone.

We’re not sure if this is as important as – say – grabbing some Green Glue tubes to take care of the sound problems that constantly plague residents but we do recognize the safety concerns at hear. What we really wished we had seen was some statistical data on the amount of nursing home abuse and neglect cause by those in non-direct-care positions.

Nursing Schools and Placentas

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

A couple of excited nursing students recently thought it would be OK to take pictures of themselves posing with a placenta. They posted the pictures on Facebook and, instead of tons of glory, they got a serious kick in the gut.

What happened?

The four students involved were kicked out of school.

The case is now in courts. Apparently an instructor did not actually tell them “no” when they asked if they could take the picture. The picture did not identify the owner of the placenta, either.

The school, on the other hand, simply found the behavior unprofessional.

What do you think?