Elder Abuse Essay

1061 words - 5 pages

Unavailable Health Care: A Nurse’s Problem

In the year 2000, it was reported that 44% of residents were abused and 95% were neglected and also witnessed someone else being neglected. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, elder abuse is common is in community settings such as nursing homes. These numbers are part of many reasons why others do not receive the proper health care that is needed. Not only is it absurd for these statistics to be high, but it also is absurd for these two statistics to be within the healthcare profession. With the baby booming population being at an all-time high, many of them turn to long-term living facilities. Being that nurses are more hands on ...view middle of the document...

Emotional outburst, mood swings, and reclusiveness are signs of psychological and emotional abuse.
With very little research on the topic of geriatric abuse within long term care and rehabilitation facilities, it is hard to pinpoint the main reason behind the chaos. Initially, men and women nurses are taught ethics, procedures, and rights regarding their patients during their nursing school program. In this case, it is very crucial that nurses adhere to the rules and regulations that are set in place, however, based on the widespread of reports regarding abuse and neglect with staggering numbers, that is not happening. Finally, after decades of reports of abuse and neglect in long-term care and rehabilitation facilities kept floating around the country, OBRA (Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) was put in place in 1987. The act was designed to regulate the treatment of residents within these healthcare facilities.
Despite OBRA being something new and fresh, stemming from the government, nurses still continued to take advantage of residents. Even with a new law in place and “grade-A” nursing schools being within this country, at least 95% of respondents in a survey of abuse in long term care facilities stated that abuse was a problem within their facility for nursing home residents. An undetected problem is also the curriculum that goes in nursing schools. During their nursing program, it isn’t a part of any required standards for students to recognize the signs of abuse and neglect (Pettee, 1997).
The underlying reason behind the abuse and neglect of older patients is still not specified under one thing. After interviewing and talking with those who work or live in a long term care facility and also reviewing previous research on the topic, it was concluded that nurses experience burnout, poor staff training, shortage of staff and stressful working situations (Catherine Hawes, 2003). According to the National Nurses United Website, the shortage of staff is a “tactic backfires and becomes a patient safety issue.” (Lisa Emark, 2014) Burnout then runs into stressful working conditions, which leaves nurses with a dwindling level of compassion to administer the best care possibly while on the job. It makes it hard for nurses to go through some emotional,...

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