What are the risks of an understaffed hospital?

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2021 | Professional License Issues |

When hospitals have small staffs, it creates a big risk for everyone involved. The workers available often end up overworked and exhausted. Because of that exhaustion, mishaps occur that can lead to a patient’s suffering.

As a medical professional, these are the sort of situations that can lose you your license. Understaffing is a critical issue that needs tackling immediately.

Problems caused by exhaustion

Scientific American takes a look at the problem hospitals face in terms of understaffing. This happens when a hospital has too few hands on board. Thus, the same workers get called on multiple days in a row. Sometimes, their shifts are almost back to back with just a few hours of rest in between.

Unfortunately, this leads to burnout and exhaustion. With exhaustion comes problems with sloppiness and concentration. This is where cases of medical negligence happen. For example, a tired nurse may not properly clean up after a sick patient, facilitating the spread of germs. A tired secretary may forget to wash their hands, passing on disease to other patrons and patients.

Deadly errors in hospital staff

In a hospital, the spread of disease is often a huge threat to patient safety. But sleep deprivation can cause other mix-ups, too. One patient may get another patient’s dosage or medication. Someone could end up getting a food they are allergic to, despite having clearly marked allergies. There are even instances where a surgeon performs surgery on the wrong side of the body.

Claiming exhaustion is no excuse when patients end up injured. Because of this, many medical staff accused and convicted of negligence may lose their license. If you are facing similar circumstances, you may wish to contact an attorney.