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Poor working conditions for nurses linked to medical errors

Despite the use of modern technology and advancements in medical science, many patients in New York continue to be the victims of hospital negligence In some rare cases, a surgeon may have erred and operated on the wrong site or left objects behind in the body.

In other more common cases, a doctor might have made a mistake in diagnosing the patient, leading to a delay in treatment. Incorrect treatment can also have adverse effects on patients' outcomes, even leading to death.

For other victims of hospital error, the problem could lie with the working environment that nurses are placed in. Many nurses find their hands tied when a patient develops a problem and a physician cannot be located.

Insurance reimbursement rules and policies relating to the standard of care for the hospital means that nurses are often powerless to make decisions and are unable to provide patients with the care they need at that moment.

This has been linked to fatal errors made in hospitals according to a study conducted last year. While some hospitals and facilities have made changes to allow nurses the ability to make decisions regarding the removal of catheters, other facilities have not, which can put patients in unnecessary danger.

Adding to the problem is the fact that nurses are overwhelmed with the number of patients they are caring for and the heavy load prevents them from providing the care and attention their patients require.

Patients have the right to receive quality care and when hospitals fail to address issues relating to nurses, technology or other medical systems, the patients are the ones who suffer. For people who have been injured because of a medical mistake, talking with an attorney may help them understand their legal options.

Source: Healthline, "Nurses: Overworked and Understaffed on the Front Lines," Kristen Fischer, July 7, 2014

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