"Working in Hospitals in the USA " is a brilliant example of a paper on the health system. "It has been said that working in a hospital in the United States is one of the most dangerous environments to work in; when in fact it is more dangerous for a patient to catch a disease than an employee who works in the organization. " I would disagree because I think that the environment of the hospital is more dangerous for patients than doctors and other staff. Doctors keep themselves safe because before becoming doctors they get education for 3 to 4 years or sometimes 5 years.
During this period, they do not only learn how to treat patients and get them out of the diseases but also learn the ways of saving themselves from infectious diseases. When a person wants to take care of others, first he would learn to take good care of his self otherwise he would not be able to be beneficial for others. Doctors do not become doctors very easily they have to learn a lot beforehand, they have a huge knowledge about what is good for them and what could be harmful to them.
If they know, something is harmful to them why would they try to go near that thing. Doctors and other staff at the hospitals, in some hospitals get special training on how to protect them. Moreover, in the current era, doctors use many safety elements such as masks and gloves that keep them away from the infections, which they can acquire from the patients. There is also a strict rule of washing hands after treating patients in many hospitals (Hawk, 2010). Why would the hospital be dangerous for any administration staff member if he were performing his duty honestly? If a receptionist’ s work is just to call people and inform about them their appointments with doctors, how is this job dangerous for him?
If a gatekeeper is just standing at the gate and watching over who is entering the hospital and who is getting out of the hospital why this job would become dangerous for him? If a nurse is clean and she is treating all the patients with a whole heart and with cleanliness, why would she find any danger in her job?
If a doctor considers every patient’ s life as his own life and treats him with seriousness and sincerity knowing all the aspects of his diseases, even the ones that are harmful to the doctor himself, then there is no danger in this job. If the hospital is dangerous for someone, it is patients. As patients are already vulnerable due to their diseases, they have more chances of acquiring infections from other patients. Every month about 15000 people in the United States suffer problems due to the mistakes of hospitals and many patients die because of this (Laurance, 2009). Patients who come to hospitals for treatment are willing to accept the risk due to their illness but they expect hospitals to put them at risk because of some hospital mistakes.
Many times the ward boys and other staff at the hospitals who have the responsibility of carrying the patients do not perform their jobs nicely. Because of their irresponsible behavior, patients fall from their stretcher or chair, which becomes more painful for them than their actual illness. All the time it is not because of staff, hospitals might not keep reliable and comfortable furniture in the hospitals, which becomes painful for patients.
Blunders in treatment including surgery or performing a procedure such as inserting a catheter are also common incidents that take place in the hospitals. Additionally, giving the wrong drugs to patients is a frequent mistake that nurses do. Poor management of oxygen and unavailability of required blood are issues of some hospitals because of which patients suffer. To manage these issues, hospitals need to prepare beforehand so that at the time of need they do not have to run here and there. Besides, the administration should take care of all the equipment and things that come in direct contact with the patients such as bed sheets, soaps, and utensils.
These items should be clean and not be the same for all the patients. Disposable glasses would be safer than plastic or steel ones. In many hospitals, patients receive already injected medications, which become a reason for the transfer of infection (Joseph, 2008). How can a hospital be dangerous for doctors, nurses, and administrative staffs, it is rather for patients? Patients also get medications at wrong times and sometimes they also get the wrong amount of dose or nurses without completing the dose leave the patients.
Hospitals should make sure that they are giving the responsibilities of patients in the right hands. Hospitals must check the license of physicians and nurses before assigning them any duty or appointing them in the hospital. There should be rules regarding the experience of doctors, if doctors do not have much experience they should not get any heavy responsibility on their shoulders. Pharmacy and nursing monitor the performance of their workers and all hospitals should have quality improvement programs planned to improve care and to supervise the quality of care. Hospitals must report safety breaches when they occur, and if they occur with an intolerable rate, the hospital should lose its endorsement. Many hospitals do not have enough doctors or nurses to look after the patients therefore patients have to wait for a long time and this wait becomes a reason for their death.
Hospitals should make sure to take in the number of patients that they find enough to treat. On the other hand, if they want to take in a large number of patients then they should hire more doctors and nurses to provide their service so that while treatment of one patient other patients should not lose his life. All hospitals should seek zero tolerance for errors from their medical staff. All hospitals should have systems that report all the errors and accidents that take place in the hospitals with names of the persons who make these errors. Furthermore, these people should get a suspension from work for one or two years so that they realize the seriousness of their mistake.
I am discussing the errors and solutions to them because I just want to make this point clear that hospital is dangerous for patients, not doctors because doctors are the ones who make hospital dangerous for patients, which patients consider as a place to heal their pain.
However, hospitals do not realize the importance of human life and commit blunders (Woods, 2010). Patients often have multiple doctors, hospitals should make sure they coordinate with each other and care for the patients who have multiple providers. In this case, one doctor should be aware of what tests the patient has had, what tests the patient has missed, and what other doctors are doing. This coordination between doctors will prove to be very advantageous in providing safety for patients. People or government should make strict laws against the hospitals that commit any such action, which becomes harmful for the life of any patient.
Moreover, there should be heavy penalties for the people who make such blunders. The reason why doctors and other medical staff show such irresponsibility in treating the patients is might insufficient amount of pay that they get or they do not get appraisals or incentives even after showing good performance. One reason might be a low motivation factor or less love for human life. In such cases, hospitals should first try to know the reasons behind this and then try to solve them accordingly.
If the staff is not happy with the pay package, management can make efforts to increase their pays or give them incentives occasionally (MFL Occupational Health Centre, 2006). If doctors are not motivated to work or they get afraid when they find any extreme case, hospitals should arrange some training for them as they have been given the training to take care of their selves. In training, trainers should make doctors realize the importance of work that they are doing, they should tell them the positive aspects of their job and give them the courage to face extreme cases.
This would make them bold enough and they would not shiver while handling any case. This reduces the chances of errors and saves the lives of patients (MFL Occupational Health Centre, 2006). Every person is responsible for his or her own life as far as that person is in full consciousness. If one voluntarily calls dangers to oneself then no one would prevent him. It is the case with the staff of the hospital. They are all aware of the pros and cons of the environment they are working in.
They are aware that what is dangerous for them and what is beneficial. They have to decide using their intelligence and hospitals should take care of these issues. From all the discussion above, it is clear that hospitals take more care of doctors than patients do, as doctors are their assets, which generate revenue for them. They forget the actual source of revenue that is patients. Above all patients have some hopes when they come to hospitals, hospitals should understand these hopes and do not destroy them.
Hawk, R. (2010). Hospitals are Dangerous Places. Retrieved on December 06, 2011: www.audible.com
Joseph, S. (2008). Environment of Hospital. Kent Publishers.
Laurance, J. (2009). Why hospital is a dangerous place to be. Retrieved on December 06, 2011: www.theindependent.com
MFL Occupational Health Centre. (2006). “Occupational Hazards for Hospital Workers.” Focus on Facts, 1-2.
Woods, T. (2010). “Hospitals Can be Dangerous to Your Health.” ExamHealth, 1.