A video posted on a social media platform shows a female staff member slumping at a medical cart, apparently asleep. Of course, the video went viral with more than 50,000 views and shared more than 2,000 times. Yikes. Who would post such a thing? Shocking, it was a co-worker at the nursing home. Why would a staff member do something like this? When the staff member was asked why she shared this on social media she responded that she had witnessed similar incidents at the nursing home, including one with the same female staff member, and “nothing is ever done.”
Well, what can you say to something like that? To be clear, we have staff working night shifts, many of them working 12-hour shifts, then going home to their full time job as parents or caregivers. Not making excuses, trust me, in my years as an owner, I counseled and terminated more than one employee and this is an obvious situation that needs addressing. What I am saying is, are we aware of what our staff are juggling in their personal lives or are we saying, “check your baggage at the door?”
This may be a great nurse and maybe there is a reason she can’t stay awake. Again, no excuses, however, on the flip side, how are you going to address the situation with the staff member who posted the video to social media? Did the staff member report this type of behavior in the past with no resolution? If that is accurate (per the article), who is at fault for the situation? You. The leader.
When was the last time you visited your center on the midnight shift (unannounced)? I’m not referring to bringing breakfast at 6:00 am, I’m talking about walking the walk at 2:00 or 3:00 am. Engaging with staff when they aren’t exhausted at the end of their shift. Bigger question is are you as familiar with the third shift staff as you are with the first shift staff. I’ll bet not. Please, take the time to lead ALL of your staff, the third shift is just as important as the first and second shifts. It might not be convenient however, your residents need caregivers who are awake and responsive 24/7, not just during the day! Stay informed and stay well!