Patients at risk when hospital workers show up sick

From a story in Fierce Healthcare

tired nurses=decision regret

Fatigue leads to decision regret by nurses.

Hospital employees including nurses and doctors don’t want to let down patients or their own colleagues by calling in sick.  They know it will leave the facility short-staffed.  However, studies of hospital workers show working while sick is actually routine.

Researchers took swabs of employees and analyzed them and found workers were ill while taking care of patients over a six-month-period.  The employees were also found to have symptoms of “viral shedding” that can spread disease to other workers and even patients.

While many facilities have policies and procedures to curb infections such as mandatory shots and disinfectant foams at each entrance, staffing situations at hospitals can put pressure on nurses and doctors to still report to work.   A survey of workers reported that 46 percent say they continue to work while sick.

Patients can’t prevent their caregivers from being sick, but they can decide to go to facilities where staffing situations do

n’t force nurses, doctors, and other staff to come in when they should be recovering.

Patient Story

Your Patient Stories Over the past few weeks, you've been sending us stories about your experiences in Minnesota hospitals.  We've heard them, and we think others should, too.  By sharing your patient experience with us, you can help us promote a safe nurse-to-patient ratio at all Minnesota hospitals.
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