People who go into the hospital assume they’ll get the care they need, but there’s a chance this might not happen if there’s a staffing issue. Having enough nurses is imperative in hospital settings, especially when a high level of care is needed.
There are several issues that can lead to understaffing of nurses in hospitals. A high rate of hospitalizations means that the hospital needs a full roster of nurses, but that’s not common these days. There are often many open positions for nurses. While some hospitals turn to travel nurses and staffing agencies, those nurses lack training in hospital specific protocols and procedures.
Why are nursing shortages a serious problem for patients?
One primary concern when a hospital is short of nurses is that the ones who are there are overworked. This can lead to them become fatigued and unable to focus. Long shifts with little time to rest between them may enhance the fatigue. Burnout becomes possible.
All of these can mean that the nurses don’t make the appropriate decisions or that they make errors as they care for the patients they’re working with. Things like medication errors or missing vital parts of a patient’s care can directly harm the patient.
Anyone who suffers harm because of understaffing or negligence in a hospital faces the prospect of lifelong issues. Even when they don’t face catastrophic consequences, they may need additional medical care. Patients who are the victim of harm due to understaffing or negligence shouldn’t have to cover the expenses related to that harm. Seeking compensation is possible to help them recover those damages.