Medical negligence is seen across thousands of hospitals in the United States but is not widely talked about on a global scale. Medical negligence is substandard or little to no care provided by a medical professional to a patient. This has directly inflicted injury or caused an existing condition to gradually get worse over time. There are numerous ways that medical negligence can occur such as misdiagnosis, incorrect treatment, or surgical mistakes (Irwin Mitchell, 2018). There are three main characteristics that have to occur to be considered medical negligence the first one being a violation of the standard of care, according to Admin M.
“The law acknowledges that there are certain medical standards that are to be recognized by the profession as being acceptable medical treatment by reasonably prudent health care professionals under like or similar circumstances. This is known as the standard of care. A patient has the right to expect that health care professionals will deliver care that coincides with these standards. If it is determined that the standard of care has not been met, then negligence may be established.”
In the United States there are 251,000 deaths related to medical negligence. This number is higher than the death rate of those suffering from Alzheimer’s, stroke, and car accidents combined. Why is this the case? Traditionally a job has health screenings for the employees to ensure they can still perform their job to the best of their ability. These types of inspections do not exist for doctors. Today, many of the doctors you see are of older age because they choose to work past the traditional retirement age of 65. In most cases this can be very detrimental to the patients under the doctor’s care, currently, 42 percent of doctors in the United Sates are over the age of 55 and 21 percent are over the age of 65. Many of these doctors try and keep their skills up to date, and remain mentally and physically sound others may face a complete decline in skill and judgment without even realizing it. In an article written by Steven H. Drone, 8,000 doctors still practice in the United Sates despite having dementia and declining health issues. Drone also states that “ To address the increasing problem of doctors practicing despite declining mentally a substantial amount of healthcare practices now require doctors of a certain age to take regular screenings to evaluate them and determine if they are still able to practice, although a few have argued that age alone should be a deciding factor in whether or not the can continue to practice, others think it’s a positive step to take because if not it would be totally left up to the doctor to decide whether or not they want to continue or not”(Law Offices of Steven H. Dorne, 2018)
Although age can play a huge role in your medical care so can your race. Race plays a very key factor in the treatment you receive while you are under the care of the hospital. Recent research uncovered that systematic racial differences has doubled. In 1992, black Medicare beneficiaries were less fortunate than their white counterparts to receive the 16 most commonly performed hospital procedures. In doing this African Americans, Asians and Hispanics received delayed diagnosis or initial failure in the management of chronic disease. Since a large group of black than white Medicare beneficiaries make more out-of-pocket payments than copayments this led to postponement or avoidance of care or treatment. A large variety of hospitals across the United States stereotype their patients off of their race and medical provider. The same thing applies to the medical physician in a study that was performed physicians were found to view their black patients in a more negative light than their white patients. For instance, a study was done by van “Ryan and Burke that showed even after altering the age of the patient, sex, socioeconomic status, sickness or frailty of their overall health and patient availability of social support the results showed that physicians viewed black patients, compared to their white patients as less kind, intelligent and more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol”(Bulatao, Anderson and National Research Council (US) Panel on Race, 2018) , because of this we see a lot of minorities that aren’t being treated or being totally under cared for .
In Addition to age and race playing a key role in your overall health at a health institution, there is also another factor of hospitals understaffing their facilities. According to the (ANA) “American Nurses Association studies directly connects with un-adequate nurse staffing levels. While in the past insufficient nurse staffing levels has been liked to poor patient outcomes, extended hospital stays and heightened chance of patient deaths” [ANA],2013. In addition to understaffed nurses, nurse fatigue appears to play a key role in patient safety according to a survey performed by Kronos Inc nurses were concerned about their ability to preform the tasks safely, with two-thirds of them reporting that they nearly made several mistakes while taking care of their patients due to fatigue. In March of 2013 at the (AONE) American Organization of Nurse Executives conference, they pointed out that nurse fatigue isn’t the only negative effects on operational coast, but patient and employee satisfaction as well. According to their research findings, 54% of nurses reported that they felt that they had an excessive workload, and 96% of them reported that they were tired at the beginning of their upcoming shift, an astronomical amount of 65% of nurses said their health facilities do not have a polices regarding cumulative days of extended shifts. In a Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that nurse understaffing lead to higher infection rates among very low birth babies. The evidence is clear that nurse staffing and fatigue is directly linked with poor patient care and safety as a nurse you have a responsibility to ensure the safety and care of those under there care. Most importantly nurses should be able to express the fatigue they feel before it becomes a safety concern to them and those under their care.
In conclusion there many factors that lead to medical negligence such has your race, medical provider, and the over-age doctors that are still allowed to work regardless of their age or metal status. Medical negligence is a global issue that has completely been swept under the rug that not a lot of people talk about nether are the working conditions of their staff are talked about either, this is why there are over 251,000 deaths that are related to medical negligence because there is a plethora of systematic racism, poor working conditions and no standards to keep the physicians or the employees safe , and this is why there are so many cases of medical negligence mainly because of the fatigue of the nurses and the mental decline of the doctors. On the other hand also the systematic racism turning down people especially minorities, because of their medical provider and financial status while their white counterparts get topnotch treatment regardless of their financial status or medical provider, it’s very unfortunate to know that how are society works today but one must realize something’s will never change .
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