Abuse List Being Utilized to Protect Nursing Home Patients
Written by Jeff Meyer on March 4, 2016
Though it’s tough to imagine the type of person who would be capable of committing this type of crime, the sad truth of the matter is that nursing home abuse does happen. Fortunately, the incidents are incredibly rare, but that doesn’t make it any easier to hear about.
Fortunately, steps are being taken to ensure the monsters that perpetrate this kind of crime once never get a second opportunity at doing so inside of a nursing home. Let’s look at how it’s being used here in North Dakota.
A Tool for Protecting Patents in North Dakota
That’s because the federal and state government and nursing homes have a list they can use to document these workers the moment they are found guilty of abuse. By doing so, the perpetrators can’t simply leave prison and go back to their life as a registered nurse at an elder care facility.
Although accidents can certainly happen, most would agree that there should be no second chances for professionals who betray the trust put into them by children of senior citizens, especially if they do so violently. That’s why, once a name is added to this list, it stays there.
Every state currently has some version of the list they use. In North Dakota, the list contains the names of convicted perpetrators and the type of crime they committed (i.e. physical, sexual or theft). Likewise, each state makes these lists available to nursing facilities in a different way.
However, in all cases, people are only added once they’re found guilty of a health department or police investigation.
The One Exception
There is only one exception to the rule wherein someone can have their name removed from the list. That’s for those who are added to it because of negligence. After a year of being on the list, someone can petition to have it removed, but there’s a process involved and not everyone is successful.
According to authorities, that’s because neglect is something that is easy to do. Sure, it could mean that an elderly care provider was ignoring their client ringing a bell for assistance. However, it could also mean forgetting to put socks on them, which means they end up slipping in the bathroom.
In places like North Dakota, it’s so hard to keep high-quality professionals in this industry, that they asked the federal government for this type of exception. Minnesota and many other states have similar rules.
Minnesota’s Nursing Assistant Registry
In Minnesota, the list for abusers is called the Nursing Assistant Registry. There, crimes are divided into neglect, abuse and misappropriation of funds. Their registry system is also a lot like North Dakota’s. Aside from the difference in their breakdown of abuse, theirs also differs because the public must call to request information from it.
In both states, nursing home management is supposed to review the list before they hire anyone to their staffs. Federal law also states that all facilities must go over the list once a year.
While other healthcare facilities also have access to these lists, they are not required to actually use it.
Although this is definitely a huge step in the right direction, it’s still important that you actively follow up with your loved ones when they’re living in these facilities. This is especially important when they may have trouble reaching out to you or effectively communicating over the phone. Whenever possible, inspect them for unexplained bruises or cuts that may signal they are being abused. It would be wise to keep an eye on their personal finances too—if they still have control over them—as theft is another crime people in nursing homes often fall victim to.