People go to an emergency department when they think they have something critically wrong. They count on being able to see a doctor who can provide them with treatment for their issues. Unfortunately, there’s a shortage of emergency physicians that’s plaguing the country.
Not having enough doctors in the emergency room can lead to a host of issues for patients. While hospitals are trying to make up for the shortage by hiring other medical professionals, such as nurse practitioners, they often can’t provide the same level of care as a physician.
Longer wait times
Emergency departments already have long wait times, and a shortage of doctors can make these wait times even longer. This means that patients with serious conditions may have to wait longer to receive the care they need, which can lead to a worsening of their condition.
When emergency departments are understaffed, they can become overcrowded with patients, leading to a strain on resources and a decrease in the quality of care.
Overworked and stressed doctors may be more prone to making mistakes, which can have serious consequences for patients. A shortage of emergency department doctors can also lead to the use of less experienced doctors, who may not have the same level of expertise or training as more experienced doctors.
A shortage of emergency physicians can lead to burnout among existing doctors, who may have to work longer hours and handle more patients. This can lead to a decrease in the quality of care, as well as a decrease in job satisfaction and an increase in turnover rates.
When patients have to wait longer for care, their conditions can worsen, leading to more severe illnesses and higher healthcare costs in the long run. In some cases, improper care equates to medical negligence. Seeking compensation for these situations may be possible.