The Effects of Being Overworked in the Healthcare Field

With doctors and nurses working extremely hard during a global pandemic, many are overworked. With nearly every area of consumer services cutting back on staffing to save more money, employees across various industries are strained. It is understandable that some cuts need to be made to save money, but in any industry that provides care to another human being, is it ethical?

Consequences of Overworked Health Professionals

Being overworked in any field is exhausting and can negatively impact work, but it is especially dangerous in the healthcare industry. There is no room for error when it comes to the safety and wellbeing of another human being.

Medication Mistakes

A medication error is when a patient in a medical setting receives medication that causes them harm when it could have been prevented. This includes giving a patient the wrong medication; giving a patient the correct medication, but the wrong dosage, or giving the medication in the wrong way; and not even giving a patient the required medication at all.

Medication errors can occur in various settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and even pharmacies. While medication errors in nursing homes don’t occur as often as they do in hospitals, they still happen, and when they do, your loved one deserves to be compensated for any injuries sustained from that mistake.

Poor Health

When your job is being in charge of the health of others, it is possible to neglect your own health. Doctors and nurses know the importance of a healthy lifestyle, but when they’re seemingly working endless shifts, food choices can tend to become less healthy. Think about it: when any of us are constantly “on the go” we tend to drink less water and look for the most convenient food choices.

Stress

Overworking without an adequate recovery time can lead to stress, and excessive stress can lead to a host of health conditions that our medical professionals treat us for. Too much stress can also lead to a lack of sleep; which, in turn, decreases work performance. Stress management techniques can be helpful to anyone in any profession.

Solutions

The obvious solution is to hire more healthcare workers to lessen the workload. Unfortunately, that is not always feasible. In addition to stress management techniques, exercise is a great way to reduce stress, instead of just managing it.

Exercise

Physical activity releases endorphins, which simply put, cause a calming effect in the brain. Now, there is the issue of not having enough time to exercise, which is very true, as healthcare workers are extremely busy. But stress-relieving exercises don’t have to be vigorous. Simply walking, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and even dancing counts as exercise. You can also do things you love, for example, things like swimming, yoga, etc.

Self-Care

Stemming from exercise, self-care is really popular right now as a way to reduce stress. Many people like to use aromatherapy oils, such as lavender or bergamot, in diffusers to help with stress. There are even diffusers made to go in cars, so you can have calming effects on the way to work as well as on the way home.

Music

Continuing with the theme of reducing stress before and after work (because just driving to work can be stressful), soothing music is another way to help reduce stress. Not only is it a pleasant distraction, but calming music essentially lowers our heart rate, which, in turn, lowers stress levels. In addition to music being a good stress reliever, studies have shown that singing releases endorphins, and therefore, decreases stress levels.

Conclusion

Being overworked in any occupation can have detrimental effects on anyone’s work performance. Each industry has its own problems associated with work performance, and employees of any field can face health issues associated with the stress of being overworked. Communication, cooperation, and stress management techniques are beneficial in any profession.

Self-care is also extremely important, as it reduces stress and allows you to focus on yourself and your health.