Happy Labor Day! Nursing homes do not treat their employees very well. Most caregivers do not get enough training or adequate PPE. Many aides are overworked and burnt-out. Homes pay staff low wages with few if any benefits.
Here are some examples of how nursing homes treat their employees on this Happy Labor Day.
Greenwood’s Index-Journal reported that NHC Healthcare-Greenwood ignored the safety of their employees. The facility allowed employees with the virus to continue working. Symptoms included fatigue, loss of taste and smell, and an elevated body temperature. Their boss told them to work because their symptoms appeared mild, and because her temperature wasn’t above 100 degrees it didn’t count as a fever!
“Two NHC employees who agreed to talk to the Index-Journal on condition they remain anonymous said they felt sick, began exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and tested positive for the virus, and were both asked to consider returning to work within days of receiving their results.”
NHC reported online 103 active COVID patients. The facility has had 49 employees test positive so far.
Stearns Nursing Home
An employee at Stearns Nursing and Rehab tested positive for Covid but management told her to keep working anyway. Then, the facility suffered an outbreak of 100 people with 12 fatal cases. Incredibly, CDC allows infected employees to provide custodial care as a last resort. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines say providers with “suspected or confirmed COVID-19” should work apart from others. However, the guidelines also state infected caregivers can work only as a last resort “when there are no longer enough staff to provide safe patient care.”
So their defense is that they were short-staffed so they can endanger residents and other employees? Why not hire more staff that are not infected with a deadly virus?
Monroeville Nursing Home
Monroeville Rehab and Wellness Center nursing home fired Administrator Ron Berlingo for telling the truth. The nursing home fired him for disclosing that the facility provided false information to health officials. This same facility made headlines when they claimed zero cases of Covid-19 one week and then the next week reported 47 cases and seven deaths. Berlingo’s whistleblower lawsuit explains how they lied and falsified and blamed him as the scapegoat.
Connecticut Nursing Homes
The Connecticut Mirror reported on how nursing homes exploited low wage aides during the crisis. Nursing homes in Connecticut are now resorting to widespread layoffs and reductions in employee hours. “I feel like we were used,” said one nurse. “Nobody cares about us.”
New England Health Care Employees represents about 6,000 nursing home staff members. About 2,000 of those employees have been laid off or have had their hours cut by 50% or more in July and August. At least 500 of the 2,000 affected members were laid off. Another 500 have been moved to a per diem list. That list means they have no scheduled hours but they technically still have a job.
More than 3,400 nursing home employees in Connecticut have contracted COVID-19. At least 20 have died and others have infected their families. “It’s like we’re nothing to them,” she said. “Management doesn’t care. The government doesn’t care. Nobody cares.”
Senators recently wrote in a letter:“Masks, gloves, gowns and other PPE are the armor that nursing home workers wear into battle against COVID-19, and their continued scarcity in nursing homes around the country puts residents and the workers who care for them at unneeded risk.”
Amen. Hope you have a better boss than most nursing home workers.
Happy Labor Day!