Nursing is a very demanding profession. Shifts are usually 12 hours long, and can be constantly running around—especially in an emergency department. This is even more true in a busy emergency department, like in a big city. Nurses can be on their feet the entire time, and sometimes have to work several shifts in a row, several days in a row, or even double shifts. It can be a very tiring and long set of work hours.
But this is dangerous. First, it burns out nurses quickly and can have adverse effects on their health. But more importantly, this really can harm patients. Fatigued healthcare providers can really be problematic. Patients could be completely left vulnerable and in danger of serious malpractice.
For instance, overtired nurses from working double shifts and overtime could be vulnerable to making sloppy mistakes or easily avoidable mistakes. They could not be thinking well and just result in serious injury to patients.
Fatigued nurses could also be slower to respond to emergency or perform procedures. This could put patients are risk who are having serious medical emergencies like heart attacks or who go unconscious, stop breathing, or need immediate treatment.
Fatigued nurses also make errors in charts or in administering medication. This could result in confusions, mixups, and serious medication errors which could become fatal. Not documenting something means that it was not done, or at least that is the rule, so patients could end up getting double doses or procedures done because it was not originally recorded.
Overtime for nurses can just result in very serious and deadly outcome. Patients are hurt when the same nurses work extra long.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.