We all hope that our medical providers are well-educated, well-trained, and rested when on the job. But the stark reality is that doctors and nurses are oftentimes overworked, fatigued, and distracted. This, in turn, has led to burnout, which only further exacerbates the inattentiveness that is all too common in American hospitals and treatment facilities.
Burnout may be more common than you think
In fact, one recent study found that about 40% of surgeons feel the effects of burnout, which can present due to long hours, poor work/life balance, and changes to how healthcare is delivered. While the pandemic has likely exacerbated these contributing factors to burnout, there have been ongoing changes to the medical profession that have been stressful for doctors and nurses. The widespread implementation and use of electronic medical records is one of them, meaning that just about every medical professional that you’ve come into contact with has been exposed to at least some of these burnout factors.
Patients are at risk
Although burnout can have serious implications for medical providers in their individual lives, including an increased risk of substance abuse and divorce, patients are the ones who are really put at risk here. After all, burnout can lead to a lack of attention, which may result in a serious medical error occurring. The doctors who make these errors can ruminate on their mistakes more so than their non-burned-out counterparts, which, again, can lead to greater inattentiveness and an increased risk of medical error.
Most people have felt burned out at their job at one time or another. But in the medical field, these feelings can be deadly. That’s why medical professionals need to be held to a higher standard. One way to do that is to take legal action against those who have failed to provide the level of care owed to their patients.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by what you think is medical malpractice, regardless of whether it was caused by burnout, then you may want to consider speaking with an experienced legal professional who can help guide you through your next steps. Hopefully then you can better position yourself to find accountability and recover the compensation that you’re owed.