How Overworking And Understaffing Increases Nursing Errors In Florida Hospitals
Nurses play a critical role in a hospital, handling numerous, varied aspects of treatment and management to support quality patient care. Disruptions can lead to serious harm, which is why many in the medical field have expressed concerns about the implications of COVID-19. However, survey results gathered before the pandemic indicate that there have been problems with overworking and understaffing among hospital nurses for some time. Almost all respondents indicated that their work is physically and mentally draining, and 63 percent admitted that their work was causing burnout. Even more frightening is that almost half of nurses worry that patients will suffer because of nursing errors due to fatigue.
Medical malpractice concepts apply to the work of nurses in much the same way as other health care providers, though there are subtleties regarding the legal standards and requirements. A Miami nursing errors attorney can explain the details and assist with your claim, though you might want to know how overworking and understaffing among nursing staff can lead to injuries.
Higher Rates of Infection
One of the most serious problems in a hospital is infection, as the health status of many patients makes them vulnerable to fighting disease. Studies have linked higher rates of overtime by nurses to increased rates of infection, including catheter-related urinary tract infection, ulcers, and sepsis.
While physicians are typically prescribing medications, it is the nursing staff that will be administering them. In an environment that suffers from understaffing, a rushed nurse may become flustered and make mistakes. A common error is confusing meds among patients, but there are also issues with improper dosage.
Failure to Rescue Issues
When a patient goes into critical status, i.e., Code Blue, a hospital must be sufficiently staffed to ensure someone is there to respond. Nurses who are overworked cannot spend time with critical patients, leading to failure to rescue scenarios.
Inexperienced Nurses and Inadequate Supervision
Nursing shortages often mean hospitals must assign junior-level nurse practitioners to do the work of someone more experienced. These individuals may not have the training or credentials to handle tasks related to critical patients, increasing the potential for errors, omissions, and accidents.
Aggravated Medical Conditions
A patient who enters the hospital for any kind of care should never leave the facility in worse shape. When nurses cannot meet the appropriate standard of care because of fatigue or understaffing, patients are more likely to suffer from aggravated conditions. Examples include septic shock, pneumonia, cardiac arrest, and many others. Victims may suffer falls or other injuries when nurses are not around to assist with moving in and out of bed or using the bathroom.
Get Additional Details from a Florida Nursing Errors Lawyer
Overworked nurses are prone to mistakes, so it is reassuring to know that you have legal options if you suffered harm. For more information on your rights and remedies, please contact the offices of Freidin Brown, P.A. in Miami or Fort Myers, FL. We can schedule a no-cost consultation with a nursing errors attorney who can provide additional details.