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Doug Mann LPN, LNC

Nursing homes / Vets' home 1

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Minneapolis Vets' Home short-staffing, neglect reported

Top 4 Vets Home administrators resign over reports of patient neglect
from Doug Mann's blog - 1 Sept 2005
Four Resign from Vets Home
by Warren Wolfe, Star Tribune
September 1, 2005

The top four administrators of the state-run Minneapolis Veterans Home resigned this week after a recent state Health Department inspection found numerous care problems there, officials said Wednesday.

The 418 nursing home residents "are not in immediate jeopardy, but we have concerns about some of the care issues there," said Mike Tripple, who heads inspections for the Health Department...

...Problems included such basic care issues as bed sores and cleanliness of incontinent residents...

[There were inspections by the Department of Health Facility Complaints in June and July] ...Soon after the July inspection, the home's administrators added a fifth nursing aide to both the morning and afternoon shifts, said Mattox. She said the addition has improved care.

Full text at

[Doug Mann] The nursing aide to resident ratio was 1 to 104, then 1 to 84. Even with 5 nursing aides on every shift, each resident would get an average of less than 18 minutes of nursing care per 24 hours. Nurses (RNs and LPNs) in long term care settings usually don't provide direct nursing care, but instead push pills and pencils.

Under Rule 49 (nursing home regulations repealed by the MN legislature in 1985), the required minimum hours of productive nursing care per resident per 24 hours was 1.0 hour for residents classified as "intermediate care" ("board and care," substantially independent in basic activities of daily living, e.g., continent of bowel and bladder), 2.5 hours for Skilled 1, and 3.2 hours for Skilled 2.

Assuming that Nurse Aides do most or all of the direct nursing care, current staffing levels at the Vets Home are grossly inadequate, and the residents are in jeopardy. Serious neglect, as evidenced by pressure sores, is unavoidable with so few caregivers.

I have about 10 years experience as a charge nurse. Prior to getting my license in 1991 I worked about 7 years as a nursing aide in hospitals and nursing homes in the Twin Cities and Atlanta, Georgia.

From 1975 to 1978 I was the chair of a workers council that enforced minimum staffing requirements under Rule 49 at a nursing home in St. Paul, MN. The unionized employees there threatened to conduct an "illegal" strike, if necessary to enforce the law in November 1975 and thereafter.

- See "The Diary of a Nursing Home Agitator"

Vets' Home 1 / Vets' Home 2