Limiting hours for OR doctors and nurses

Many doctors and nurses in New York are required to work long hours in operating rooms across the state. Some people feel that the hours should be capped similar to the way that hours are limited in other professions. Many doctors feel that this is inappropriate because patients do not expect their physician to leave during the middle of an operation.

A poll by Medscape found some differences between the way that doctors and nurses feel about limiting working hours in operating rooms. When asked whether hours should be limited to reduce mistakes, 57 percent of doctors and 87 percent of nurses said yes.

Another question on the poll asked whether doctors should be routinely monitored for substance abuse and other negative behaviors that could result in harm to patients. Of those surveyed, 82 percent of doctors and 62 percent of nurses answered affirmatively. A similar percentage answered yes when asked if others in the operating room should be monitored for substance abuse and other negative behaviors.

Some of those surveyed felt that money would be a limiting factor for limiting work hours since most people do not want to pay for more than one surgeon to be present during an operation. Some felt that substance abuse should be monitored but that work hours should not be limited.

An attorney experienced in personal injury may be able to help patients who have been harmed by operating room mistakes. Fatigue and substance abuse may contribute to more surgical errors than most people want to believe due to lack of monitoring for these issues at hospitals. A personal injury lawsuit might help individuals who have been harmed by medical malpractice recover damages for medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and loss of future enjoyment of life.

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