Staff shortages and overextended shifts for nurses are a nationwide issue, according to National Nurses United, the nation’s largest union representing registered nurses, with nearly 185,000 members throughout the country. “Chronic understaffing is rampant throughout hospitals around the country,” said Bonnie Castillo, the union’s government relations director. “It is probably the single biggest issue facing nurses nowadays, and it’s not only affecting nurses, but patient health as well.”
Hospitals choosing to understaff and overwork their nursing staffs risk the health of nurses and patients alike. Recently, the husband of an Ohio nurse who was killed in a car accident while driving home after a 12-hour shift, filed a wrongful death lawsuit, alleging that from 2011 to the time of her death, his wife’s unit at the Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati was “regularly understaffed,” causing some nurses, including his wife, to work through breaks and pick up additional shifts.
While the nurses themselves may be exercising a choice to work longer and harder hours, patients do not enjoy the choice of who their nurses are, or what their state of readiness or exhaustion may be. Nursing understaffing and exhaustion is dangerous, especially to patients!
If you or a loved one has been injured during a Chicago hospital stay, you may be able to take action. Please contact the attorneys of Lane & Lane, LLC, or call us at 312-332-1400 to speak with us about your options. We can help.