Americans reportedly work longer hours and take less vacation time, compared to workers in other nations so it is not surprising to learn that between 35% and 54% of healthcare professionals experience burnout. In addition to the lengthy schedules medical practitioners follow, the nation’s healthcare system often contributes to their burnout. Not only does this jeopardize patients’ lives, but it also leads to billions of dollars’ worth of losses for the medical industry. The end result could lead to a dangerous, vicious cycle.

As reported by The Washington Post, patients face a high risk of medical malpractice because of the burnout experienced by physicians and nurses. According to a study conducted by the National Academy of Medicine, nearly half of the nation’s healthcare workers are prone to exhaustion.

According to a four-state study reported by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 30% of direct-care RNs working in nursing homes demonstrated a high degree of burnout. Over 70% of the RNs participating in the study admitted to insufficient time or resources causing them to miss completing necessary care tasks on their shift. ScienceDirect notes that without a reduction in the burnout experienced by healthcare aids working in nursing homes, vulnerable seniors will remain at risk.

Remaining proactive to reduce the chance of errors

Recognizing the signs of exhaustion in medical practitioners may enable patients or their family members to take proactive measures and avoid possible medical mishaps. Doctors, nurses and healthcare aids suffering from burnout may display observable symptoms such as detaching from their patients, a loss of enthusiasm and a display of cynicism toward their work.

Filing a complaint when a mistake occurs

Medical professionals owe a duty of care to prevent mishaps and mistakes while a patient is in their care. All human beings are capable of erring at some point, but when medical malpractice occurs as a result of a practitioner’s stress or negligence, a harmed individual or his or her family has a legal right to a remedy.