A vast majority of doctors, clinical physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals work even while they are sick. This in spite of the fact that most of them are aware that doing so could actually expose patients to the potentially serious, and even deadly infections.
In a recent survey, 83% of doctors, other medical professionals, and caregivers admitted that they worked at least once a year while sick. They reported for work while ill, even though they knew that patients could possibly be at risk for infections or illnesses as a result of being in close proximity to an ill physician. The survey involved more than 900 caregivers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and found that doctors and nurses are very often aware that reporting to work while sick places patients at risk of infection. They also report that they do so anyway for a wide variety of reasons.
The most prevalent reason cited was the desire to prevent from letting their colleagues down. They reported uncertainty as to whether their colleagues would be able to make up the shortfall in staff if they took the day off. About 90% of those in the survey cited this as the primary reason why they reported to work while sick.
Some others found themselves burdened by a sense of obligation to work. And some did not want to let their patients down. According to some of the doctors surveyed in the study, there is an unspoken rule in the industry that requires medical professionals to be extremely sick in order to take a day off.
Taking a day off while sick may seem like a sensible thing to do, but the results of the survey indicate that many professionals are unable to take time off for a variety of reasons. They feel a strong sense of obligation to the patient, not realizing that turning up for work while ill could actually place the patient at risk of serious infections. Patients with weakened immune systems may be at a high risk of contracting an infection when a caregiver shows up sick.
It’s important that you ensure those caring for you are in good health. Stand up for yourself and insist that your physicians and nurses and other care providers are healthy when caring for you. Ask them to wash their hands before and after caring for you. Most of all, be honest with your physician if you suspect he or she isn’t feeling well and express your concerns for your own well being.
If you have suffered an injury as a result of medical negligence, you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim for damages. Discuss filing a claim with an Indiana medical malpractice attorney.