In evaluating hospital negligence cases, it is important to understand the role of nurses and the challenges that they face. In modern healthcare, profiteering hospitals are engaged in an all out assault on the nursing profession, through such practices as short-staffing, hiring underskilled personnel to replace nurses and using dangerously inaccurate electronic information systems.
The interplay between doctors and nurses in the hospital setting is such that doctors make the diagnosis and prescribe the treatment (or perform a procedure), while nurses administer treatments and monitor the patient’s progress. As such, nurses are critical to the safe care of hospitalized patients. However, hospitals have long set their sights on reducing the number of nurses per shift in order to cut costs. This is unnecessary. One need only look at the rapid development of extravagant hospital facilities and increasing CEO salaries to know that hospital profits are off the charts.
Short-staffing is dangerous to both nurses and patients. A recent tragic example involves a dedicated Ohio nurse who died in a car accident following repeated 12 hours shifts. The hospital was regularly understaffed, leading to a grueling and untenable work life. Imagine now this nurse having to reliably dose medicines and monitor numerous critical patients. Read more here: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/11/12/health/ohio-nurse-worked-to-death-lawsuit-says/index.html?eref=edition.
Understaffing problems abound. Hospitals argue that there is a nursing shortage. However, this is a lie. There are more than enough well-trained nurses to fully staff U.S. hospitals. The problem lies in inhumane working conditions that push good nurses out of the work force. Hospitals that utilize safe staffing measures have no problems finding experienced nurses.
Hospitals’ abuses of nursing staff are truly a national shame. Nurses who are not fortunate enough to get out of the profession often must work into their 70s due to lack of pension or health insurance. Imagine a nurse, who has cared for patients his/her whole life, finding themselves with no one to care for them in their old age.
When it comes to root cause analysis of hospital negligence cases, the answer usually lies in hospital hiring practices. Problematically, the Ohio Department of Health does not regulate Ohio hospitals. This astounding fact seems to have bypassed most citizens’ attention. But in truth, there are no safe staffing or other hospital regulations in Ohio to point to in a medical negligence case. This puts your loved ones at risk.