Nurses. When you think of a nurse what do you think of? A bright-eyed woman that is there to help you when you need help. You think of a woman that is always smiling and never seems to make a mistake. Unfortunately, that's not true. Everyone makes mistakes. Some are more detrimental than others. As medical malpractice attorneys, we have to sue nurses on the basis of negligence.
Let's say that you are in the hospital for a neck injury after a car accident. A nurse comes in and asks you how you are feeling. She has a smile on her face and in a very pleasant tone she is telling you what is going to happen. She walks out of the room and you feel like you're in good hands. The nurse walks back into the room and you take a good look at her again. This time you notice the bags under her eyes, her slightly slumped shoulders , and her unwashed hair. You start to wonder how long her work day is and if she is the best to take care of you.
Is It Completely the Nurses Fault?
You decide to do some of your own investigation into why the nurse looked the way she did. You decide to actually “interview” some of the nurses at your local hospital. The hospital is completely understaffed. There are many industries that are understaffed but in the medical field that could mean drastic mistakes. They are understaffed which means they are overworked. Instead of being assigned to work with one or two patients, nurses are assigned three or four patients. This would stretch anyone's mental and emotional capacities. Especially if they are working in an Intensive Care Unit, how are they excepted to care for people that are in critical condition if they are having to spread their time between four patients that need eight hours of care each? How is a nurse supposed to fit all of that care into their allotted paid time?
So, Who Is to Blame?
Of course, there is blame on the nurse because she was the one that made a medical mistake. However, wouldn't it also be her employer's fault? The employer (most likely the hospital) is the one that sets up when she is working and how many people they staff. It is the hospital's responsibility to have the correct amount of personnel on the floor at all times. It is the hospital's responsibility to make sure that its staff is equipped for their jobs. Why aren't they staffing correctly? The answer is simple: money. Hospitals won't staff more nurses because it will cost them more money. But which is better: saving money or saving people's lives?
Of course, making a mistake in inevitable when you are overworked. You are exhausted and won't be at your full mental capacity. Of course, a nurse is going to make a mistake but is it entirely her fault?