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D. Better Education Recommended for Nursing Home Staff

Narrator: This is Science Today. According to national statistics, nursing homes on average are understaffed - putting residents at greater risk of health problems and even death. Charlotte Harrington, a professor of social and behavioral sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, says adding to this problem is the greater lack of education among nursing home staff members.

Harrington: We recommended that the directors of nursing need to have at least a bachelor's degree and preferably a master's degree in gerintological nursing. And then we recommended a part-time nursing assistant director and a part-time director of in-service education, that's an RN, and a full-time, 24-hour a day RN staff.

Narrator: Harrington surveyed a national panel of experts to come up with recommendations to improve staffing and quality of care.

Harrington: Not only people would feel better and have less problems, but there also might be some savings that would be achieved because you would have fewer people going to the hospital.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.