The Law Offices of John Phebus

Understaffing at hospitals can result in errors

Many Arizona hospital patients know that there are not enough nurses to meet the demand. This shortage leads to medical staff who are often overtaxed, leading to a reduced ability to provide the best care possible. As the baby boomers continue to advance in age, the shortage of nurses is only expected to continue.

In the United States, there are no guidelines dictating the required ratio of nurses to patients. A study that has been published in an online medical journal found that nurses who were in charge of six patients had lower patient mortality rates than those who were in charge of 10 or more patients. Nurses who are responsible for larger numbers of patients are given support staff to help out, but the study also found that having certified nurse aides made little difference.

Safety issues related to understaffing and overtaxing nurses by replacing nurses with CNAs are not new. Reports have shown that fatigue caused by long shifts can lead to errors, some of which can lead to serious or even fatal complications. Although there is not enough research available to determine the right patient-to-nurse ratio, the authors of the study urged hospitals to avoid substituting nurses with support staff.

Hospitals should have an appropriate number of nurses to handle patients' needs. If an error occurs due to a staffing issue or due to nurses who are overworked, the result could be a worsened medical condition for a patient. People who have been harmed in such a manner may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to see what options are available.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Free Consultations

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Glendale Office
17505 N. 79th Avenue Suite 214
Glendale, AZ 85308

Map & Directions

Phoenix Office
40 North Central Avenue
Suite 1400
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Map & Directions

Tempe Office
60 East Rio Salado Pkwy
#900
Tempe, AZ 85281

Map & Directions

Scottsdale Office
7150 East Camelback Road
Suite 444
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Map & Directions

We Accept
VISA | MasterCard | American Express | Discover Network | PayPal