Medical Malpractice Due to Healthcare Practitioner Fatigue

A recent study discovered that one in eight healthcare practitioners, nurses to be exact, take medication to help them stay awake while at work. Hospital nurses are usually scheduled to work 12-hour shifts, and sometimes overnight. It can be tough to adjust to that sort of schedule, especially when these hours are changed regularly. As a result, nurses become fatigued mid-shift, leading them to make critical errors that can result in serious patient injury due to medical negligence.

Nurses Have Physically Demanding Jobs

Nurses are subjected to long hours on their feet for a good portion of each shift. They must check on multiple patients, administer medications on time, help patients get into and out of bed, and so much more. All of this can be extremely tiring, particularly if the nurse hasn’t had enough sleep.

Additionally, most nursing shifts are scheduled for a straight 12 hours. That’s a long time to be on your feet. In order to stay mentally sharp, some nurses take medication to provide energy and to keep them alert.  This practice however, can and does lead to medical errors, and patient injury.

Medical Malpractice

Medical errors caused by nurses that are fatigued, drowsy, or otherwise not thinking clearly due to the effects of the medication that they took, fall under the heading of medical malpractice. These nurses have an important responsibility to properly care for their patients and need to focus on what they are doing, especially if they are monitoring vital signs and administering medications. However, when they are unable to focus, errors occur.

Some examples of these errors include giving patients incorrect medication, not paying close attention to their vital signs, and failing to notice when something goes wrong. On top of that, when a patient presses their call button and has to wait a long time for their exhausted nurse to arrive, they may try to get up or help themselves, only to end up slipping and falling.

Nurses must be alert while on the job without the help of medication. Medical errors are a major issue and many of them can be prevented as long as their health care practitioner is able to focus on the job.

Have you suffered health complications due to medical malpractice? Could the problem have been prevented if your nurse wasn’t fatigued? Call me to discuss and then  I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Medical Malpractice