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Signs of Abandonment in Nursing Homes

By The Husband and Wife Law Team on November 16, 2016

Nursing home management is undoubtedly challenging. The facility functions 365 days a year providing care for elderly residents who each has a unique set of health concerns amid a highly volatile environment.  The challenges for nursing homes involve providing both quality of care and quality of life for the residents which may include:

  • Management of multiple shifts of staff each day in a very wide variety of roles, who are likely under emotional and often physical demands and pressure.
  • Managing the balance between state requirements and regulations, while working within the financial constraints of the facility.
  • Working amid often highly critical evaluation from outside parties including inspectors and visitors who may be quick to voice any deficiencies that they perceive.
  • Ensuring that there is clinical continuity in resident care.

Defining abandonment of care

The Arizona State Board of Nursing defines abandonment as terminating a patient’s care without sufficient notice. Nurses (in this case) are required to provide reasonable notice to a supervisor prior to severing the patient relationship so that arrangements are in place for the continuity of care. It is first required that a provider first accepts the assignment of caring for a certain patient, thus establishing the relationship. Abandonment then can occur when disengaging from the relationship without considering whether the next provider is aware of the present circumstances. The proper transition or transfer of care requires communication, either in oral or written form, explaining the conditions and needs of the particular individual.

Some examples of abandonment:

  • Leaving without providing adequate notice to a supervisor or other qualifying staff member.
  • Leaving without reporting on patient status.
  • Acceptance or establishment of patient care and then leaving without notifying someone, thus potentially not protecting the health and/or safety of the individual.

The American Nursing Association further defines the reporting responsibilities in situations where any provider or staff believes that an occurrence of abuse or neglect has occurred in these environments. When a person responsible for the care of an adult who is vulnerable has reason to believe that abuse of neglect has happened, they are to report the information to either a peace officer or other protective worker.

Has a loved one who is a resident of a nursing home become a victim as a result of provider abandonment or neglect? Those who are careless or negligent in their duties of providing care for the elderly and vulnerable must be held responsible for their actions so that they do not continue impacting others under their care. The team at the Breyer Law Offices, P.C. advocates for the rights of Phoenix nursing home abandonment victims. Call the office at (602) 457-6222 today for a free consultation.

Posted in: Nursing Home Abuse

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