Burnt Out Nurses a Danger to Patients?

Rock Hill SC Medical Malpractice Lawyer

The job of a nurse is one of great importance. A nurse is in charge of distributing medication and must monitor the most minute details in a patient’s progress, along with being responsible for relaying information to the doctors and patients constantly.

Some hospitals fail to recognize the importance nurses serve, and this can lead to mistakes. Many hospitals have cut corners by keeping fewer nurses on staff. According to a new study, high patient-to-nurse ratios are one of the leading contributors to medical malpractice or fatal incidents.

When  a hospital is under staffing their nurses, it results in a bad work environment.  Researchers then found that nurses in a negative work environment they have a higher likelihood of becoming burnt out, resulting in medical mistakes.

The lead author of the study said that stress is very common in a bad work environments such as this. She explained that “all of a sudden they are doing work, but they are not even cognizant of what they are doing, they are so stressed.” This could lead the nurses to do something like forgetting to mark something on a patients chart or not wash their hands.

The study concluded that around 30% of nurses experience being burned-out. Reducing this number by even 10% would help to lessen the mistakes and lift the stress off of a portion of the nursing staff. This would result in a more positive work environment and better care for patients.

An organizational psychologist who focuses on job-related stress said that the study could not demonstrate cause-and-effect relationship between high patient-to-nurse ratios and job burnout, but did say that burnout leads to nurses compromising their professional standards such as dutifully washing hands.

These findings have inspired some states to consider laws that mandate minimum nurse-to-patient ratios. The belief is that this is one way to prevent nurse burnout and the medical malpractice it causes.

Contact the Medical Malpractice Law Firm of Bice Law

If you believe you have suffered injury or harm due to medical malpractice, take the first step to protect your legal rights contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law.   We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, however, so you must act quickly.  Contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law today by calling (855) 5-BICE-LAW or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a medical malpractice attorney.  Results are how we measure success – we’ve built a strong reputation both in and out of the courtroom, and we’ll put our experience and expertise to work on your behalf.

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