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Local News

October 6, 2012

Owners, staff trade blame for home's problems


Reached by phone Friday, Pierce confirmed she had been fired after four months early this year a resident companion at Countryside.

She was fired, she said, “for asking questions and pointing out things that weren’t right.”

She said co-workers warned her about speaking up against such problems as understaffing and administrative inattention but she did not heed that advice.

Her final question, she said, was about why a resident was left lying on a floor while the staff waited for an ambulance.

Asked directly whether the nursing staff was incompetent, Reid said it wasn’t, but he nevertheless cited two incidents in which nurses or aides got the home into regulatory trouble.

“What happened is a few years ago, they had a nurse who took a person outside who was a risk of wandering away and then left that person alone outside,” he said.

Such residents must be watched all the time, he said. That breach of regulations — which, he pointed out, the home itself had reported — started the ball rolling downhill, he said.

He said Countryside was designated a “special-focus facility” after several other incidents.

He also said management thought the staff “didn’t comprehend the seriousness” of the situation, before citing another incident of a “nurse who failed to pass (morning) meds in two hours,” but who still managed to take a lunch break before completing the task.

He declined to blame such problems on supervision or management.

“The people were trained,” he said. “They knew what to do.”

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