SOUND OFF DELAWARE: Delaware Veterans Home woes

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Readers reacted to a recent letter headlined “Delaware veterans suffer effects of overworked, underpaid staff” by certified nursing assistant Local 3936 Union President Lakeisha McKeithan:

• My husband has been a resident of DVH for 3 1/2 years. As a frequent visitor I see this as being so accurate. My husband receives excellent care despite the low staffing and morale issues. That is solely because of the integrity of the CNAs and nurses who care for my husband. I see this morale issue in all departments, nursing, housekeeping and food service. Something is just not right at the Delaware Veterans Home. — Berniece Cyr Myers

• The Delaware Veterans Home could and should be a great place to work and an even better place for our residents to live. We the nursing staff want to give our veterans the best care we can, we are always trying our best to work with what we have. This is extremely accurate to the point our veterans comment on the subject of us needing more staff. Thank you Lakeisha for standing up for us and the residents. You are an amazing person and perfect union president. It is time that what is happening here improves for the better. — Jess Tartt

• Lakeisha, thanks for being brave enough to bring this subject forward. I am a recently separated food service supervisor for the DVH. I can also agree with your assessment of being overworked and understaffed. Food service is often overlooked when people think of long and short-term facilities of this nature. But, we play just as an important role when it comes to our residents in this case— Ensley P. Milton

• I have been a CNA in long-term care for 15 years and I see good areas at DVH. However my biggest peeve is that management is not an open door! Families, veterans and staff should not have to wait to be buzzed in to speak to a member of management. Management and human resources being behind a locked door all the time sends the message of “do not bother us!” It’s really sad that I have never seen or met some of the management team! — Amber Graham

• I can remember when the Delaware Veterans Home was a five-star facility and management put resident care first. It was a place where employees felt safe from harassment, bullying and retaliation. We used to be a family. The morale has declined immensely. I can only pray that the conditions get better for residents and nursing staff. It starts at the top!! “If service is beneath you, leadership is beyond you.” — Bree Johnson

• As an employee (CNA) at Delaware Veterans Home it is my personal opinion that this speaks to our very existence at the moment. Retaliation from management is at an all-time high with many staffers scared to voice the conditions we work under for fear of being singled out. Management fails to see the direct correlation between staffing, morale and quality of care for residents. — Tierea Shinay

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