Empowering Nurses at the Bedside and in Business

Stress And Preventable Medical Errors

A recent Ohio University study revealed a correlation between stress and medical errors.  Even before the pandemic, in a study of critical care nurses nationwide, 40% reported depressive symptoms, more than 50% experienced anxiety and over 60% rated their physical health as low.

This is so sad that we have such a number of depressed, anxious, and unhealthy nurses in our workforce.  And in my opinion, it’s only going to get worse.

Nurses are stretched beyond belief in working against this pandemic and eventually somethings got to give.  Nurses should not have to work in MASH units for such a prolonged period of time.

If you are feeling depressed, anxious, or not as healthy as you would like to be, please get the help you need.

There is no shame.

In fact, getting the help you need actually could reduce the incidents of preventable medical errors, thereby saving someone’s life.

As nurses, we go into nursing to help others.  But, if we are not taking care of ourselves first, we cannot take care of others.

Knowing that the higher level of stress, anxiety and/or depression could negatively affect a patient, I strongly encourage you to get whatever help you need.

You’ll feel better and perform better while being able to do the good that you set out to do for your patients.

The study showed that nurses who perceive having wellness support from their organization are more likely to enjoy better health than those nurses who do not work in supportive work facilities.

A study by the American Hospital Association indicated that 90% of hospitals do have employee wellness programs.  Therefore, help is available.  The question is, are nurses taking advantage of it?

We want our patients to get the help they need; we get to do the same.

I took a mindfulness-based stress reduction class at Scripps Medical Center.  Many hospitals do offer these types of programs.  Mindfulness-based stress reduction was created by Jon Kabat-Zinn.  Maybe there’s a medical center near you that provides these.  These courses are also available online for free.  This program has made a huge impact on me personally and has substantially decreased my stress level.  I am hoping it will do the same for you.

1 Comment

  1. Denny Sullivan

    All MASH units had nurses but not all nurses worked in MASH units.
    MASH was an acronym for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital.
    The last one was deactivated 15 years ago.

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