Survey: Majority of Nurses Overworked, Prone to Errors

Inurse, nursingAn overwhelming majority of nurses report having to care for too many patients, and not having enough time to perform their duties efficiently and safely.

The annual survey of nurses in Massachusetts found that the biggest and most significant challenge for registered nurses in providing quality patient care was caring for too many patients during a single shift. About 77% of the nurses admitted that the strain placed on them in having to care for too many patients at a given time, definitely impacted their ability to perform their duties safely.

These challenges could also have serious and life-threatening consequences for patients. Approximately 77% of the registered nurses who participated in the survey admitted that frequent medication errors were the direct result of them caring for too many patients in a single shift. In fact, 72% of the nurses claimed that patient readmission was a very frequent and common result of their caring for too many patients during a single shift. About 64% of the nurses admitted that such unsafe assignments were directly linked to patient injury or harm.

Such overworked nurses are often neglected by hospital management. Approximately 60% of the nurses reported that hospitals very rarely modified patient assignments in order to boost patient safety. In most cases, overworked nurses were simply placed in charge of too many patients, endangering patients in the process.

Also many nurses believed that mergers and acquisitions in the hospital system actually impacted patient safety negatively. Less than 31% of the respondents believed that hospital mergers and acquisitions in the state boosted the quality of patient care, while only 27% believed that pharmaceutical companies’ relationships with hospitals kept patients safer.

Overworked nurses mean nurses who are fatigued, stressed, and inattentive. Nurses who are working under stress when they are in charge of the care of too many patients are much more likely to ignore important patient alarms, and are more at risk of making  the kind of errors that result in patient harm. Common medical errors that can occur as a result of nursing fatigue are medication errors, like delivering the wrong dose of medication.

If your loved one has suffered injuries in a hospital and you believe that the injury occurred as the result of a nursing error, speak to an Indianapolis medical malpractice attorney at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy, LLP. You may be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim that helps you recover compensation for your losses. Call an attorney at our firm today, and ask for a free evaluation of your case.