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Are staffing shortages leading to subpar care at Sodus nursing home?

September 28, 2018 06:37 PM

As the complaints against Sodus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center continue to pile up, News10NBC continues its investigation into the quality of care and conditions at the facility. 

Over the last several weeks, more than a dozen families have come forward with stories about the care their loved ones receive(d) while at the facility. 

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Current and former employees tell News10NBC Investigative Reporter, Jennifer Lewke, that the facility is often understaffed and they can't keep up with the needs of the patients.  

Personal Healthcare LLC owns and operates the 124-bed facility which is at 90% capacity, according to public records maintained by the New York State Department of Health. 

NYSDOH does not provide public records on the number of employees working at nursing facilities and the CEO of Personal Healthcare LLC has ignored dozens of calls, emails and social media messages requesting comment.     

Most of the families who've come forward with horror stories from inside Sodus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center say the same thing. 

"It's understaffed, the few that are there that care, really care. And the ones that don't care, you can tell they really don't care," Liz Yancy said.

Yancy is suing the facility after she nearly lost her leg due to an untreated MRSA infection in an open wound she developed while a patient. 

"The administrator told me, her staff was burnt out… I said, 'I understand but why is your turnover rate so high…maybe you should change that, hire more people,'" Lekesiha Denman-Duvall told News10NBC. 

Denman-Duvall's mother is a current patient at the facility. She shared video and pictures of the disgusting condition her mother's room was in during a recent visit.

Current and former employees tell News10NBC that there are days and nights when there are 30-40 patients for every one staff member. 

Federal law requires at least one registered nurse (RN) on site for eight hours per day and one licensed practical nurse (LPN) on duty 24/7 but other than that, there are no staffing regulations for nursing homes. 

There's also a nationwide shortage of certified nursing assistants. 

"The CNAs working in long-term care are really the backbone of the organization," says Deborah Stamps, a vice president at Rochester Regional. 

Stamps says CNAs handle most of the day-to-day care in nursing homes. 

"Bathing patients, ambulating patients, feeding patients, taking vital signs to ensure that the nurse has the information needed to administer medications and treatments," she explains.  

Typically, CNA jobs pay just above minimum wage. 

"It is very tough, in the CNA world, many of them are working multiple jobs," Stamps says, and that's what leads to a lot of turnover. 

At Rochester Regional, they've pulled out all the stops to recruit both CNAs and LPNs.

"She [our recruitment director] hits churches, she hits malls, she just came from the state fair. We're really going out there and doing some community outreach," says Tammy Labonte, associate director of the Isabella Graham Hart School of Practical Nursing.

Rochester Regional offers accelerated training programs, signing bonuses and shift differential pay to try and encourage more people to enter the field but they also want to keep them.

Which means, unless independent nursing homes like Sodus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center do the same, they'll continue struggling to recruit new, quality employees.  

To review News10NBC's complete coverage on Sodus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center:

Former Sodus nursing home patient: "I would have laid in that bed and died" 

GRAPHIC VIDEO WARNING: Horrifying video of medical situation at Sodus nursing home

Outrage grows over conditions inside Sodus nursing home 

Families: Loved ones in Sodus nursing home are in imminent danger

Air conditioning fails at Sodus nursing home 

Son says he found his dad dead in Sodus nursing home 

Credits

Jennifer Lewke

Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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