Going into the hospital for care means that you’re entrusting your life to the professionals who care for you. Nobody does this thinking that they won’t get the care they need. Unfortunately, pressure on the medical industry means that there are staffing shortages everywhere.
While many industries can adjust to understaffing, there isn’t really a way for hospitals to do this without putting patients at risk of harm. Some hospitals might start to close certain areas of the hospital. They may try to pull in travel nurses or temporary nurses, but even those solutions can pose risks for the patients.
Why do staffing issues harm patients?
Nurses can’t care for an infinite number of patients and still provide them all with the care they need. The number of patients they can safely handle depends on the level of care the patients require. Intensive care patients may need one-on-one care, while postpartum patients might not need much care at all.
Asking nurses to take on more patients than they can realistically handle means that patients aren’t going to be monitored or cared for as they should be. This means that critical signs of issues with a patient might be missed. For example, a nurse with too many patients in a post-surgical unit might miss signs of an infection in a patient. A cardiac nurse may not see the signs that a patient is having a crisis if they are with another patient.
People who are trusting in the medical team at the hospital to care for them might not think they’ll suffer harm. For the patients who are injured because of negligence or malpractice, seeking compensation is a priority. This can help them to cover the financial damages that come from the issues they’re facing because of the harm. These cases are often challenging so working with professionals who are familiar with how to show your side of the matter is critical.