Nursing Homes And COVID-19

This story appeared originally on WORT 89.9FM Madison · PNM Feb. 11, 2021

Barbara Bowers
Barbara Bowers, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor and associate dean for research, the School of Nursing, UW–Madison

Why were nursing homes hit so hard by COVID-19? With some background and commentary from host Dennis Shaffer, Barbara Bowers, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor and associate dean for research in the School of Nursing at UW–Madison, discusses nursing homes, the services they provide, and the reasons for their vulnerability when COVID first hit.

Dr. Bowers explains the strain and lack of support nurses and CNAs, certified nursing assistants, experience on the job. Overworked and underpaid, many staff work double shifts at different locations, which can create inconsistent care. But perhaps the biggest problem of all is the nursing home system itself, about 70% of which operate as for-profit businesses.

Over the course of last summer and fall, nursing homes had the highest number of deaths from COVID-19. More information and resources about the impact of COVID-19 on nursing homes are available on WORT.