Medical Errors: Consequences of Medical Professional Burnout | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

When a person goes to the doctor’s – whether it is for their yearly physical or because they are not feeling well – the expectation is that the doctor will listen to them and acknowledge what their concerns are. There is also an expectation that the doctor will make a diagnosis and come with recommendations for treatment. But far too often this is not the experience that many patients have when they visit a medical professional. Unfortunately, there is a growing trend that doctors, nurses, and other staff are burned out and this leads to failure to provide patients with a standard level of care.

One alarming study found that medical workers are increasingly experiencing burnout, forced to work in a health care system that requires long hours that leave them exhausted, error-prone, apathetic towards patients, and many turning to alcohol to cope. Even more alarming is the rate of suicide attempts of overworked and burnt-out medical professionals.

The report also found that instead of addressing these concerns and making the necessary changes to the health care system, overbooked and overworked medical professionals are taught meditation and yoga, rather than addressing the almost impossible workloads they are expected to handle.

While medical workers are dealing with the stress, exhaustion, and being overwhelmed with their workloads and demands put on them, it is their patients who are paying the price. A doctor who is suffering from exhaustion or who is burnt out may be dismissive of a patient’s concern or careless in their diagnosis. If the doctor is rushed for time, they can miss critical symptoms or other details in a patient’s case. They can also make mistakes when it comes to prescribing medications or when performing surgical or other complex medical procedures.

A doctor or other medical professional who is burnt out can also become detached from their patients, leading to depression and/or substance abuse, which can greatly compromise their ability to provide their patients with the standard of care they deserve.

All of these factors can lead to mistakes that can have a negative consequences on the patient’s health, leading to surgical errors, missed diagnosis, or even death. 

Contact a Virginia Medical Error Attorney Today

Patients put their faith and trust in the medical professionals that treat them, that they will heal them, not cause harm. Medical errors are preventable, and the damage they cause can change a person’s life forever. If you have been injured because of a medical error or have lost a loved one due to medical staff mistakes, contact a Virginia medical malpractice attorney to discuss what legal options may be available to you. Not only can the medical professional be held liable for your losses, but the medical facility or hospital may also be responsible for the malpractice you suffered.

At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, we have been advocating for injured victims for more than three decades and will work diligently to get you and your family the financial compensation you deserve for the injuries and losses you have suffered. Call our office today to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation and find out how our legal team can help.