Many Nursing Home Employees Have Criminal Records
Federal investigators have revealed that 92% of nursing homes have employees with criminal records. About 50% of these nursing facilities have five or more employees with criminal records. In one nursing home, 34 employees had at least one past criminal conviction.
These startling facts have raised alarm bells. Experts say more regulation is required as nursing home residents are very vulnerable. There is no federal regulation that mandates nursing homes to research the criminal past of employees. This allows convicted persons to switch states and get jobs at nursing facilities in another state.
The crimes committed by these employees include drug-linked offenses, burglary and assault. About 16% of employees committed offenses after they starting working in a nursing facility. Nursing home pay is low with starting wages around $10 for an hour. It is no surprise that nursing homes face the problem of theft of residents’ belongings.
However, there is a silver lining in sight. The latest health care regulation has set aside $160 million for states to check the background of prospective employees who apply to work at nursing facilities.