Could angry medical workers play a role in medical malpractice?
When people in Texas are hospitalized, they trust that the doctors, nurses and others entrusted with their care will act in a professional, safe manner at all times. However, nurses and doctors are people too -- and are subjected to high levels of stress as a result of their professions. While it is not possible -- or even desirable -- to remove the human element of emotion from patient care, uncontrolled outbursts by medical professionals can have a seriously detrimental effect on their fellow workers and, in worst-case scenarios, patient care.
While many of these outbursts do not necessarily have a direct impact on patient welfare, it is not out of the realm of possibility that some could -- perhaps leading to a medical malpractice claim brought against a doctor or a hospital. Experts estimate that roughly 3 to 5 percent of doctors exhibit angry and disruptive behavior at work, and at least some of the outbursts that result have had a direct impact on patient care.
In one instance, a nurse called a doctor at home when she worried that a patient had developed a serious condition. The doctor berated the nurse for calling him, told the nurse to train herself better and refused to help. The patient ultimately died of the condition the nurse suspected.
In another case, a surgeon became upset that a piece of equipment had been prepared incorrectly during a technically difficult operation. The doctor slammed the device down in anger, breaking the finger of the technician who had been trying to help her.
Medical malpractice situations are very serious, and if negligence by an angry worker played a part, an attorney may be able to assist with determining a path to file a claim for compensation.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Hospitals Crack Down On Tirades By Angry Doctors," Sandra G. Boodman, March 5, 2013