How the nationwide nursing shortage places patients at risk

| Apr 7, 2019 | medical negligence

When you or a loved one spend time in a Montana hospital or another type of medical facility, you probably assume that the medical provider has adequate staff in place and can therefore offer the level of care you expect and deserve. Regrettably, however, this is often not the case, and hospitals and other medical facilities across the nation frequently lack adequate staff. At the Edmiston & Colton Law Firm, we recognize that there is a clear link between understaffing and negligent care, and we have helped many people who suffered injury or illness due to understaffing or negligence pursue appropriate recourse.

According to Scientific American, the lack of nurses in many health care settings forces the nurses who are employed there to take on more duties than they can feasibly handle. As you can imagine, this can have a substantial impact on the quality of care patients receive when facilities do not have enough nurses to accommodate patient needs. So much so, in fact, that patients in health care environments where nurses see increases in their workloads are 7 percent more likely to pass away while receiving care there than they would be in environments with adequate nurses.

Currently, only a handful of states have legislation in place that regulates staffing in hospitals and other medical settings. California, for example, is one of only a few states that regulates how many patients a single nurse can provide care for at any given time.

Since the new regulations took effect, there has been a decline in the length of time patients typically stay at California hospitals. Patients in environments that have an adequate number of nurses onsite are also less likely to spend extra time in the intensive care unit. You can find more about medical negligence on our webpage.

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