Do hospitals set nurses up for medical errors?

On Behalf of | May 14, 2021 | Injuries |

It is no surprise that nurses are some of the most overworked professionals. They often work long shifts, work off little sleep and still have to care for other human lives.

The culture of overworking nurses negatively affects patients and can lead to errors that could put nurses at risk of losing their professional licenses.

Overworked and understaffed

According to Healthline, over half of nurses asked say that they do not get enough sleep throughout the week. In addition, they do not always have time to eat well. Another restriction on their job is the lack of authority. In fact, they may even face penalties if they make a critical decision based on the patient without doctor approval. This can also be devastating for the patient if there are no doctors nearby and action is required.

The U.S Department of Health and Human Services warns that risks to the patient increase when nurses face understaffing and overwork issues. Nursing is a high-risk industry and the amount of stress, paired with the workload can lead to burnout. Burnout can lead to patients missing nursing care. For instance, when there are too many patients and the hospital spreads nurses too thin, then it is more likely that a person will not see a nurse for his or her care.

Set up for success

Nursing is a high-intensity career. In order to give the best possible care to a patient, the nurse needs a suitable, supportive environment. Often patient care requires complex tasks. Any interruption can lead to mistakes. Unfortunately, nurses have to face interruptions consistently through their shifts.

Medical administration errors are more common when interruptions occur. It is important that medical facilities set their nurses up to succeed as much as possible through proper care and appropriate shift lengths rather than increasing the risk of facing a licensing issue due to an error.