Nursing students blow whistle on Lacombe seniors facility; three workers on leave
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Nursing students blow whistle on Lacombe seniors facility; three workers on leave

Three staff members at a Lacombe long-term care facility have been placed on leave after an internal Alberta Health Services investigation discovered training deficiencies, unsanitary conditions and a lack of safety around medications.

The health authority said Tuesday the Lacombe Hospital and Health Centre has been thoroughly cleaned. Education sessions have also begun for staff “to ensure they understand health service and accommodation standards for continuing care.”

A total of 75 residents live in the long-term care portion of the health centre, all of whom have been re-assessed.

AHS initiated a review and audit only after nursing students completing their practicums at the site came forward with problems they had witnessed.

“We take these concerns very seriously and we responded quickly with our investigation and audits with support from Alberta Health,” Brenda Huband, chief health operations officer for central and southern Alberta, said in a written statement Tuesday.

The statement was released shortly after the Wildrose Party highlighted the issue during question period in the legislature and released leaked documents from the audit.

According to the documents, the investigation uncovered:

  • Inconsistently updated care plans and patient charting;
  • Incomplete fall risk assessments, dietary assessments, vital signs monitoring and wound care interventions;
  • Deficient training for staff in infection control, medication management, dementia care, CPR, use of restraints, fall prevention and choking response;
  • Improper security of private client information;
  • Presence of expired aseptic supplies such as wound care products and catheters;
  • Dirty products stored with sterile products;
  • Used client razors left unattended, and tubs found to be dirty;
  • Soiled linen and garbage found to be overflowing into hallways;
  • Unsafe medication practices, including a client administering his own insulin when it was unclear if he was competent to do so;
  • Medication rooms left unlocked;
  • Poor documentation around whether clients had received required tooth brushing and bathing;
  • Inconsistent practices to ensure safe water temperatures for bathing;
  • High infection rates and antibiotic use. 
source : Calgary SUN
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