Even before the coronavirus pandemic, hospitals have suffered from staff shortages. Becker’s Hospital Review reports that over 19 percent of all American hospitals are experiencing severe staffing shortages this year. Hospital understaffing is a critical issue that affects both patients and hospital staff. The lack of adequate personnel can affect the quality of care patients receive from hospital staff. The lack of personnel can also influence hospital staff to become overworked and commit acts of medical malpractice. A Norristown hospital understaffing attorney can assist you with a claim.
While hospital understaffing is not a new phenomenon, some of the causes for the crisis have shifted over the past few years. Before the pandemic, there were nursing shortages due to the dwindling number of people who wanted to pursue nursing as a career. Post-pandemic, some of the causes of hospital understaffing include:
A decrease in the number of new nurses. The average age of an American nurse is 50 years old because the number of individuals who choose to pursue nursing as a career has decreased. The small number of people who stay the course and enter the healthcare industry cannot compete with the number of senior citizens in need of quality healthcare.
Hospital understaffing can put the lives of patients in grave danger. Like other employees, nurses and hospital staff are in danger of suffering from job burnout and fatigue. Overworked hospital staff are at risk of making a mistake that can worsen a patient’s condition or cost them their life. These mistakes can lead to severe hospital infections, misdiagnoses, surgical errors, and even falls.
Just like patients are at risk of suffering from serious injuries, the hospital staff is also at risk of becoming injured. Working longer hours, reducing the time between breaks, and receiving little to no support can cause nurses to experience mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Nurses can also suffer from physical symptoms like hypertension and repetitive motion injuries.
If you or somebody you care about has been injured or become ill due to the negligent actions of a hospital employee, let the team at The Weitz Firm, LLC get to work helping you today. When you need a Norristown Hospital Understaffing attorney, you can contact us at 267-587-6240 or fill out our contact form.