What happens when hospitals are understaffed and overworked?

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2021 | Medical Malpractice |

When you go in for treatment at a hospital, you naturally expect the best of care. But you are one of many, many patients seeking out treatment at any given time. Unfortunately, hospitals are only designed to care for a set number of individuals at once.

So what happens when staff meets and goes beyond these limits? The end result is not good for anyone.

Why are nurses overworked?

The National Center for Biotechnology Information looks at the enormous issue of nursing workloads at hospitals. Hospital staff across the nation face two primary issues: not having enough workers, and having too much work to do. This results in an understaffed and overworked hospital.

To make up for the lack of staff, nurses take on more duties and work extremely long shifts with very little break in between. Some nurses claim they only get a few hours of rest in between 12 hour shifts, which they simply take in the break room at work.

Overworked staff makes more mistakes

Unfortunately, when nursing staff does not get enough sleep, mistakes start to happen. They are often easily avoided mistakes, too. For example, a nurse might incorrectly read a patient’s chart and prescribe medication they are allergic to. They might forget to check up on a patient who needs hourly care. They might mix up patient’s medical information or treatment plans. They may even forget what room patients are in.

This can lead to negligent mistakes that can cost a patient money, time or health. In severe cases, it might even cost them their life. This is why these victims seek compensation for the damage they faced.


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