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Analysis of the Article "Embedded" by Barry Corbet

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The article Embedded by Barry Corbet is about his experience in a nursing home as a paraplegic. Corbet explains some of the freedoms he had to give up, the social, physical, and mental struggles he faced, and flaws of the nursing home.

Throughout, this article the emotions I felt were empathetic anger and worry. Corbet was a resident in the rehab section of the nursing home, during his stay he witnessed that “Even in the rehab wing several people are kept in physical restraints… and Chemical restraints”. I felt empathy for those staying in that facility and anger of the staff’s method of providing care to rehab residents. A person undergoing rehabilitation means to restore function/abilities to its highest level after an injury or sickness. The people kept in restraints are trying to rehabilitate; it’s counter-productive. In Corbet’s article there are a lot of statements about what he and other residents dislike about the aides, such as forcing residents to go back to their room without consent, calling them “sweetie” and “hon,” aides “peremptory bang on the door,” and neglecting their duties when a resident asks for help. Throughout this article, I kept worrying that I will end up working in a similar workplace that do no treat their residents with respect. I do not want residents to fear the aides and lose their trust.

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What disturbed me the most was how often it seemed the residents are confined to their wheelchairs to the point where they are “left with nothing to do” and the “impossible task of getting comfortable on old, upholstered bones”. Seat belting without orders from a physician is false imprisonment. If they are still able to walk or stand, even for a short while, they should be using their legs every 15 minutes to prevent injuries such as ulcers and to retain strength in their legs. An incident that disturbed me was when information about Emma taking Haldol was spreading throughout the facility. This violates HIPAA’s privacy laws. There should be strict rules and reminders that information about residents are confidential and should not be told to others that are not directly involved with that person. An annual meeting with the staff members should be re-educated to reinforce HIPAA compliance. Lastly, it seems like the facility’s commons area is too small for all the residents that they end up bumping each other and dropping their oxygen tanks which can lead to many possible injuries. To prevent this, they should build a larger room if more space to accommodate the number of residents or to have a limit on the number of residents that are allowed in that area and to have a set time on how long they can be there.

First, improvements that could be made for Nursing Assistants giving care to residents are to make sure it is about the quality of life and respecting their wishes. The steps I would take is to remind other staff to not call the residents “sweetie” and such because it can be demeaning. Nursing assistants should prevent and avoid talking about residents with others; they should be complying to HIPAA and must be reminded and possibly be tested for their understanding of the HIPAA rules. I would make sure I understand HIPAA. Second, the administrators in charge of the facility should have more or stronger management on improving the quality of care given to residents, such as having more consistency; instead of having different aides helping residents with their routine care each shift, each aid should be consistently assigned patients. This would greatly benefit the patient, the aid, and overall flow of the workplace. Being cared by the same aides would lead to fewer errors, allow aides to develop familiarity with the resident (both medically and as an individual) and increase resident trust and security for their aide. Lastly, at the level of the federal government, aides’ minimum wage should be increased, so they wouldn’t have to work “four 16-hour shifts a week” and to improve worker’s happiness which will lead to quality patient care. Another change I would implement to ensure the staff is providing quality care for each resident, following protocols, and following the laws, would be requiring an undercover inspector to check the facility at least twice a year.

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