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cnas wrongfully treated

Posted: 4/26/2004
latotia, MO:

what if a person is being treated badly a worker and has reported it through the chain of command a nothings done about it

Karen:

When family members witness questionable actions exchanged among staff members, it can lead to many questions in their minds. For example, families could begin to wonder if their loved one sees these same types of circumstances throughout their day; if their loved one has been drawn into questionable action/interaction; if frustrated staff project negative feelings towards the people they are caring for, and so forth. Ultimately, trust in the organization becomes in question as does quality of life for your loved one.

This is something you would see the Administrator about personally. I did not say the Director of Nursing or other staff supervisor, you would see the Administrator. Family inquiries and complaints are taken very seriously by Administrators, facility owners and so forth. Families don’t realize the extent of their power but it is very real and it is important that you hold the administration accountable by getting your voice heard. Certainly, you are allowed to bring questions to the Administrator - don’t ever think this person is too busy to speak to you - they aren’t. You just might be opening their eyes to something new - something they should know about but perhaps don’t for whatever reason. Going directly to the person in command also eliminates a lot of nasty gossip.

I recommend you set up a meeting discretely because the intent of your meeting is really a private matter about what you witnessed and how you feel this affects your loved one. Stay focused here. Show respect the Administrator’s busy daily agenda by making your request to meet in writing. Simply state your purpose for meeting as a need to discuss an important and confidential matter (you can explain more fully when you sit down together). Ask for a set number of minutes, for example 30 minutes or 1 hour, provide a few day/times as options, then ask that he/she get back in touch with you to confirm. Provide your contact information to make follow-up convenient. This is a good way to avoid getting cornered by the secretary. This also begins a paper trail should you need it in the future for follow-up with, for example, the corporate officers, facility owners, perhaps the Ombudsman.

Again, when you meet, your focus should remain on what you witnessed and how you see that this affects your loved one. If your view is clearly negative, you could make a decision to move out which no Administrator or owner wants to hear. Or, if as you suggest, a staff member is being treated inappropriately, should they decide to quit, this certainly would have a negative impact on your loved one. It is natural you would want to provide some positive evidence to the Administrator about the person’s worth in your family’s eyes. Ultimately, the meeting puts your dissatisfaction with what you witnessed out on the table and places accountability onto the Administrator to investigate and correct to your satisfaction.

The Administrator will take things from there and hopefully provide you with feedback after their investigation. If you remain dissatisfied, you are free to take things to the next level such as to the corporation who owns the facility or to the private owner but only if you remain concerned about how all this affects your loved one’s well-being.

Thanks for writing. Karen Rice