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Understaffed and Overworked Nurses Contribute to Poor Patient Care

Over 3.4 million nurses are employed at various healthcare facilities throughout the United States. Although, a commendable and necessary profession, low wages, coupled with a stressful work environment, leads to an exceedingly high turnover rate in the nursing industry. Most nurses work extensive shifts and are consumed with tedious work involving the well being of their patients. Numerous nurses feel that with more control over the diagnosis and treatment of the patient along with a more suitable work environment, the rate of replacement will decrease significantly within the nursing community.

A study conducted at the Vickie Milazzo Institute, a legal nurse-consulting firm in Houston, surveyed 3,300 nurses to illustrate a better approach when managing a nurse’s workload. As a result of the study, the Vickie Milazzo Institute discovered that 89% of the nurses interviewed “said they cannot work effectively due to apathetic superiors and a lack of support staff.” Without proper assistance from other staff members, nurses are unable to perform adequately which, in turn, negatively affects patient care.

Nurses are providing around the clock surveillance and care for a variety of ailing patients. Although, they have many responsibilities, they are paid very little for their highly demanding career.  According to the Vickie Milazzo study, only 16% of the nurses interviewed expressed that they were paid fairly. These professionals are responsible for the welfare of ill patients, but do not feel they are compensated accordingly.

About 440,000 patients are killed due to medical errors. A multitude of these errors are caused by a weary and over worked nursing staff. Due to understaffing—and an atypically high turnover rate–, many nurses are responsible for the prosperity of 10-12 patients; which is unfortunate considering the recommended ratio is 8 patients for every nurse. A survey taken in 2011 interviewed over 3,000 nurses and discovered that 47% of the nurses interviewed explained, “workload caused them to miss changes in their patients’ conditions.” An oversight in a patient’s conditions can lead to preventable deaths as well as major lawsuits.

Due to a high stress environment and increased liabilities, many nurses chose to stop working rather than jeopardize their credibility as a professional. The high turnover rate in the nursing industry contributes to the poor quality of care many patients receive while residing in healthcare facilities.

Understaffing is a principal contribution to the abuse and neglect of elderly patients. Nursing home abuse and neglect is a serious issue in the United States, and unfortunately, too common. With the number of abuse victims rapidly increasing, The Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi are here to assist nursing home abuse victims and their loved ones.  We believe that each patient has the right to exceptional quality of care and will relentlessly defend that right.  If you or your loved one have been abused or neglected in a nursing home, please contact our office immediately for a free consultation. The attorneys and staff at the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi are passionate, experienced, and dedicated to protecting the rights to which you and your loved ones are entitled, and will fight for justice in elderly abuse and neglect cases.