Maryland residents rely on hospital staff for extremely important matters of health. However, hospital staff are human just like anyone else. They can make mistakes like anyone else, too. Unfortunately, the chances of these mistakes happening can be increased by problems in the industry itself.
The American Nurses Association takes a look at nurse fatigue in hospitals, a common but dangerous situation in hospitals all over the state and across the country. Nursing staff tends to be very overworked in the industry. Hospitals are often understaffed, forcing people to work long hours with few breaks. It isn't uncommon for extremely long shifts to be pulled, like 12 hours or even longer. Sometimes nurses will barely have a day at home between shifts.
Doctors and surgeons can suffer from the same problems too, especially since there are much fewer of them working at any given location. The National Center for Biotechnology Information looks at the impact that fatigue and sleepiness can have on hospital staff. Under studies, it's shown that more mistakes are made when employees are tired. These mistakes can range from relatively benign, such as forgetting to refill a patient's water, to more severe mistakes like mixing up a patient's prescriptions.
Because of fatigue-related negligence and accidents, patients can even be harmed. Many avoidable incidents have occurred because employees were overworked, tired, and could not function properly. Unfortunately, in these cases, patients end up suffering because of circumstances entirely out of their hands and may have to take legal action to seek compensation.