When we undergo medical treatment, we expect healthcare providers to be at their best. After all, healthcare is both expensive and important. Decisions made can costs thousands of dollars to a patient’s bill. Decision can also create long-lasting injuries to a patient, including debilitating conditions or even death. Healthcare providers need to be working at top shape.
However, sometimes this is not always the case. While we know that healthcare providers are human and may succumb to sickness, fatigue, and other conditions, we do not expect healthcare professionals to be under the influence when we are being treated by him or her.
That’s right. Under the influence.
This could be something such as alcohol or drugs, but also due to medications such as painkillers. Healthcare is a very demanding field and can easily lead to drug or alcohol abuse. Healthcare providers could develop alcohol or drug dependencies, and come to work under the influence or take drugs or drink alcohol while at work or on breaks. Some healthcare professionals may not even realize that they are under the influence or doing something wrong, but even just one or two drinks during lunch could affect a healthcare provider’s reflexes and judgment. This can lead to mistakes. In fact, just how a drink or two can cause you to be guilty of driving while ability impaired, one or two drinks could cause a healthcare provider to similarly be impaired.
Additionally, given that healthcare providers are around and near medications all the time, it is easy for them access them and abuse them. All too often we see on the news that a healthcare provider gets busted for stealing strong medications such as opioids from hospital storage rooms or from patients. While there are many checks in balances to prevent access to these strong drugs, when a patient is discharged and was on a morphine drip, for instance, the leftover bag needs to be disposed of. A healthcare provider could easily mark that the bag is disposed and keep the morphine for later, or use some of it right there before it is taken away.
This does not sound like it could be real, but it unfortunately is. When the addiction gets bad enough, some healthcare providers will not even realize that there is a problem. Coming to work under the influence and attempting to perform procedures and treatment on patients can be downright dangerous. Healthcare professionals under the influence should be liable and health accountable.
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.