Texas’ nursing homes are missing something: nurses
Robert Lozoya started a recent shift as a nurse manager for Carillon, Lubbock’s biggest senior home, at 7 a.m.
For the next 12 hours, he triaged his duties, picking up the slack for the nurses who did not show up for work. He made sure patients didn’t choke on their lunch, treated wounds and fielded a myriad of calls to doctors, families and pharmacies.
By the time Lozoya left, well after 7 p.m., he was exhausted. And he knew tomorrow would be more of the same. He and his team will adjust to being understaffed, as they’ve had to do so often in recent years.
“We’ll do it one way or another,” Lozoya said. “We’ve worked it out so far, so it’s been OK, it just hasn’t been ideal.”
Texas does not have enough nurses for its senior care facilities. The shortage is fueled by a number of factors. There is a growing apathy burning through the nursing industry, and the COVID-19 pandemic only fanned the flames. Baby boomers are both retiring from the nursing profession and needing care themselves. Nursing homes have been hit particularly hard by this crisis due to financial constraints and medical students wanting jobs in more prestigious fields.