Majority of Doctors Admit Working While They Are Sick Themselves

It is imperative for all hospital professionals to keep a close eye on germ control in the facility. We have often discussed preventable hospital sicknesses that many patients get after they arrive at the hospital to receive treatment for some other ailment.

New reporting from the Associated Press and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association explains another facet of the problem which places patients at increased risk for medical complications. More than half of resident doctors (doctors-in-training) in a recent survey explain that they have shown up to work while they themselves were sick-over a third have done it more than once.

Reasons for working while sick vary. Some doctors explained that they did not have time to find a replacement while seeing a doctor for their own illness. Others thought that they didn’t believe the cost of finding a replacement was worth the risk.

Another factor may be the competitive nature of hospital residency programs. Many residents work up to 80 hours a week and up to 24 hour in a single day. There is also pressure for residents to be perceived as hard workers, willing to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Yet, it does not take much explanation to understand the huge risk that doctors take when they bring germs around already sick patients. The CEO of doctor training schools explained that “doctors should recognize that if they’re sick, their patients’ would be better served by having another doctor take care of them.

Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti remain committed to helping patients who suffer at the hands of doctors, like some alluded to here, who cause them increase pain and suffering following medical errors. With many patients’ health walking a tightrope, it is imperative that doctors take no unnecessary steps that may tip the vulnerable patient’s health in the wrong direction-like bringing in new germs to the hospital when they are sick themselves.

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