We all expect the medical professionals who treat us to be knowledgeable and attentive when providing care. Anything less can lead to devastating consequences for unsuspecting patients. Yet, all too often these patients are left in the hands of dangerous doctors and nurses. One reason for these dangerous conditions may be surprising to you.
The dangers of professional burnout
Burnout in the medical field is very real, and it can touch even those in the most respected positions with the biggest responsibilities. Take surgeons, for example. One study on the topic found that as many as 40% of surgeons report experiencing burnout. The reasons for this burnout vary, but amongst them are the number of years in the profession, the number of hours worked per week, and the number of nights having to work on call. Even the implementation of electronic medical records has played a role in surgeon burnout.
Regardless of why burnout occurs, its effects can increase the danger associated with even the most routine operations. Burnout can decrease attentiveness and dedication, create anxiety, and cause insomnia and fatigue. Each of these effects can increase error rates, which can lead to surgical errors that run the gamut from wrong site surgeries to nicked organs.
Hold negligent medical professionals accountable
Burnout occurs in every profession. But not every profession deals with the health and welfare of individuals. Few professions require duties be conducted appropriately lest someone end up disabled or dead. For this reason, medical professionals have to be held to a higher standard, and they must be held to account for preventable mistakes that leave patients hurt.
In practice this means pursuing a medical malpractice claim against an errant medical professional and his or her employer, which very well could be the hospital itself. By doing so, a medical malpractice victim may be able to recover much needed compensation while also finding accountability. Hopefully then those victims can have the resources and peace of mind that they need to focus on their recovery and their future.