There are still many tasks that no artificial intelligence (AI) can handle just yet despite the leaps and bounds technology’s gone through in terms of advancement. And most of those tasks are found in the area of healthcare. Almost all hospital operations require the thoughtful touch of a person. That’s why there’s more human staff than computer-based systems running the hospitals.
What Causes Medical Errors
What makes up most of the hospital staff are nurses. But regardless of their numbers, nurses remain one of the most in-demand jobs for so many years already. Although they might be leagues away from a trained doctor, their medical knowledge is nothing to brush off. However, no amount of knowledge could erase their tendency to make mistakes. After all, isn’t that what makes one human?
However, the mistake they committed at work can either have little effect on the patient or be so dire as to risk their health. If you or someone you know suffers from a potential case of medical malpractice, it’s best to consult lawyers specializing in this field to help you make a case. You can learn more about medical malpractice lawyers in this full article.
Medical errors are categorized as:
- Diagnostic errors
These occur when the healthcare worker, gave the wrong treatment (or medication).
- Errors of omission
These are totally out of sheer neglect from the healthcare worker. So, even though the treatment is already apparent, it’s still not applied to the patient.
- Errors of commission
This kind of mistake could harm the patient, much like diagnostic errors, even if the healthcare worker has the proper diagnosis in mind except it’s not finished correctly.
- Errors of communication
These could happen when there’s a misunderstanding between the patient’s healthcare workers or between the patient and the healthcare workers themselves.
- Errors of context
These happened when the healthcare worker neglected to consider any significant changes that might’ve resulted after the patient’s taken their treatment. Therefore, causing them to provide ineffective or harmful medical advice.
Of course, since nurses and the rest of the medical community have sworn an oath to caretake their patients, them initiating these errors could either boil down to inexperience (for fresh nurses) or human limitations, specifically, fatigue. Because if there’s one thing you need to know about nurses, their work schedules are always packed in case of emergencies coming up.
Unseen Impacts of Medical Mistakes
There’s no denying how these medical errors could result negatively. Whether they might cause an inconvenience or death, these outcomes focus more on how the patients are affected. Little did you know, both patients and health workers are affected by what happened.
- Strained Nurse-Patient Relationship
Regardless of age, social status, and occupation, every patient is protected by an essential patient right as soon as they step inside a medical facility, and that is patient safety. This is one of the patient’s fundamental rights for a reason. After all, why would you come to a medical facility if you’re only going to get hurt afterward?
Depending on their condition, a patient admits with a nurse already assigned to monitor their vitals. And unfortunately, nurses aren’t AI. Even though they graduated medical school with flying colors, fatigue and burnout are their ultimate problems once they’re licensed.
However, that doesn’t mean they’re no longer responsible for their actions. Every decision they make is based entirely on what they’ve learned and how well they could still function despite their long shifts. Because of this, whatever mistake they’d commit could ruin whatever amount of rapport that should be present between nurse and patient.
Of course, you still need to consider the severity of this medical error. If mistakes were made on your charting, you could easily brush it off as inexperience from the nurse. But if it’s as traumatizing as losing life or mobility, the patient may no longer be able to trust any healthcare worker from here on out.
- Loss Of Credibility
Although nurses have dedicated their lives to their line of work, it’s still another job. Nurses can make mistakes as long as it’s not too consequential, like having charting issues. However, there’s a line when this mistake will affect the patient’s life, such as medication errors.
Medication errors might be unassuming compared to other issues. However, writing down the wrong dosage can easily affect them, especially if the nurse guesstimates the dosage instead of taking the time to check up on the patient. If a nurse ever does something like that, it’ll leave a significant impact on their record.
- Psychological Toll
As mentioned before, nurses dedicate their lives to saving people. Like other healthcare workers, they’ve spent years studying nursing and adding more of those years of training under supervision. With how much time they’ve given to learn how to help people, making a mistake and hurting their patients by accident would crush them, that’s for sure.
Of course, it only makes sense for their mental health to dive when they express:
- Immense guilt and even
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Working as a nurse is a noble job. However, if they’re supposed to work in an understaffed facility with their schedule already brimming, even you’d forget why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place. And since no one’s ever functioned well under little rest, nurses making mistakes aren’t new. But what you didn’t know is how much impact these mistakes and omissions could have on the patient and the nurse.