Medical patients in Florida and elsewhere throughout the United States have the right to reasonably assume that staff members caring for them have taken all available precautions to ensure their safety and well-being while undergoing medical care. Medical malpractice occurs when a patient has been injured or has become ill due to negligence on the part of medical staff. A recent survey suggests that a problem involving doctors and/or nurses who report to work while knowingly suffering from illness is on the rise.
Some medical professionals have stated that when they are sick, they continue to report for work because it is difficult to find replacements. Those interviewed have also suggested that there is pressure placed upon them in the workplace to earn pay incentives that will not be made available to a doctor or nurse who misses work due to illness. Understandably, 95 of health industry workers who were surveyed agreed that working while ill places patients at great risk for harm.
The recent survey, conducted by JAMA Pediatrics, resulted in physicians and advanced practice clinicians admitting that they continue to report for work when they are ill even though they know that it is a health risk for patients. Many said that they fear being ostracized if they call off work due to illness. Other hospital staff members who work in direct contact with patients have stated that they have gone to work with active symptoms of respiratory illness, diarrhea and fever.
Florida medical patients who believe that they have been victims of medical malpractice, whether through an illness they suspect was transmitted from a staff member or other circumstances of negligence, misdiagnosis or errors in medical care, have the right to discuss their cases with an attorney in the area. A legal professional with experience in medical malpractice cases would be able to investigate the details of an individual situation and make suggestions about how best to proceed under the circumstances. Some patients might choose to file a legal claim in a civil court against the party or parties deemed responsible for their injuries or illnesses.
Source: fiercehealthcare.com, “Despite patient risks, most docs, nurse practitioners go to work when sick“, Ilene MacDonald, July 7, 2015