Nursing homes, annually, see common infections become life-threatening for compromised residents. This is something that is both accounted for and worked to prevent, but nursing homes have always been working without making a profit and on the edge of efficiency.
COVID-19 then was a major upset to the nursing home systems that exist across America today. One in five of all COVID deaths happened within these nursing homes, and the extra stress put on workers caused 15% of the entire workforce to have left by 2020.
This is a scary state for nursing homes to be in as today more than 400 are on the brink of shutting down. More importantly though, the existing homes are no longer doing as good a job of stopping infection. Effective masks were not available as late as 2021, equipment was being reused more often, and safety precautions were being followed less stringently.
And this comes at no blame to the workers in nursing homes today. 89% of all healthcare organizations are understaffed, expecting the same quality of work when the average worker has to take on so many extra responsibilities is simply unrealistic.
Luckily, there are efforts that can be made to help these workers become more effective at infection control. IPCWell is an organization that works by giving practical and specific advice to existing nurses in nursing homes. This allows them to more effectively cut out the slack while still fulfilling all their responsibilities.
It’s impossible to expect nursing homes to be working at full efficiency when understaffed and underfunded, but if COVID has taught the world anything, it’s the importance of these systems. There’s only so many forces keeping those in nursing homes safe, and these forces should be protected and promoted.