Knowledgeable and Experienced Guidance

Can longer shifts increase the risk of medical errors?

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2024 | Medical Malpractice |

While medical errors can occur under a multitude of situations, there may be a variety of factors that could increase the risk of medical negligence. It might be no secret that issues such as distractions in operating rooms and lack of training in medical fields can prompt similar results, but these might not be the only issues that could pose a threat to your safety. 

Recent studies highlight the possible link between long shifts and medical error risks. The need to work long hours can affect the capabilities of those in virtually all medical fields. Understanding the possible risks involved with longer shifts could help you take steps to protect your health, or help you prepare to safeguard your future interests should the unimaginable occur. 

What are the risks? 

There may be various health care facilities in North Carolina who require workers to operate on 12-hour shift schedules, and some possible risks involved with longer shifts might include: 

  • Issues with fatigue: Long shifts in any profession can be exceedingly demanding and may leave workers more susceptible to encountering bouts of fatigue. Issues with fatigue may lead to a greater risk of errors. 
  • Worker burnout: Studies indicate that health care professionals who work long shifts may also be more prone to experiencing burnout. This can also lead to staffing issues that may affect the patient care experience. 
  • High stress: Long shifts can also lead to high levels of stress. The presence of such issues could take a significant toll on the health of workers and their ability to provide adequate care to patients. 
  • Lack of rest: Getting adequate rest can also be vital to staving off medical error risks, but those who work longer shifts might not always have time to get enough sleep before the next shift. 

Studies also suggest that the risk of errors may only increase when shift hours exceed the 12-hour mark, and any type of medical error could place your safety and health at substantial risk. 

Medical negligence 

Issues such as fatigue and burnout remain leading causes of errors in the health care industry. Suffering severe harm due to the presence of medical negligence can be challenging to accept. The outcome of your situation may leave you facing numerous types of hardships in life, physical and financial alike. This may also leave you with questions about what steps you can take to protect your interests and pursue the full amount of restitution you deserve through the appropriate outlets.