Working in healthcare is challenging, particularly since 2020. Long hours, staffing shortages, multiple patients and little support takes its toll on the quality of service. Unfortunately, when healthcare workers are burned out, they’re more likely to make mistakes.
Patients should be able to expect they’ll receive adequate medical care. When healthcare workers are stretched thin, they may not be able to meet the appropriate standard of care. If this happens to you or a loved one, the personal injury team at the Law Offices of Tim Misny can help.
How healthcare worker burnout leads to mistakes
Burnout can occur in any profession, but healthcare seems to burn through workers at a faster pace. The long hours and life-or-death situations have a profound impact on mental, emotional and physical health. Whether the nation’s top surgeon or an entry-level orderly, the profession is uniquely challenging.
The Department of Health and Human Services notes that “Burnout among health workers has harmful consequences for patient care and safety. This includes decreased time spent between provider and patient, increased medical errors and hospital-acquired infections among patients, and staffing shortages.”
Because workers have less time to work with patients, with less support, they’re likely to be exhausted. Fatigue has a similar effect on the brain as alcohol: reaction times slow and motor skills decline. It’s also harder to regulate emotions and retain focus when fatigued. Burned out healthcare workers are more likely to make mistakes on the job—which could be fatal.
What to do when you’re the victim of a healthcare mistake
Healthcare workers often have an enhanced duty of care to their patients, especially doctors and nurses. Making mistakes, even as a result of burnout, can cause serious harm to the patient.
When patients are injured as a result, they may be eligible to file a medical malpractice or related lawsuit. These are usually negligence cases. In order to prevail on a claim, the patient must demonstrate that:
- The healthcare worker had a duty of care to them,
- The worker failed to meet that duty of care, and
- The breach of duty caused the plaintiff actual harm
Consulting the Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you determine whether you have a medical malpractice or other type of personal injury lawsuit. If you have a good case, your lawyer may be able to recover damages for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and more.
Talk to an Ohio medical malpractice lawyer today
The Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you with your malpractice or negligence case. When you’re the victim of healthcare worker burnout, negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (877) 944-4373 so that I can evaluate your case right away.