When a person seeks medical treatment in Louisiana, he or she expects to be taken care of by a competent medical professional. While there are many safeguards in place, such as extensive education and training requirements, along with licensing, to ensure those working in the medical field are qualified to do so, there is something else that is not as highly regulated that could be hurting the level of care these professionals provide. The problem is understaffing.
According to Scientific American, many medical facilities are understaffed. This means longer working hours and less patient-caregiver contact. It has been shown through research that the level of care drastically drops when caregivers cannot keep up with patient demand. In situations where a facility is understaffed, this is a constant struggle. Not having enough workers means patients do not get the attention they need. Some caregivers may even have to choose between which patient to treat at one time because there are not enough people to provide care. Such instances lead to medical malpractice issues and devastating consequences for patients.
MedScape notes many hospitals report they have too many patients and not enough staff, which leads to medical errors. Anyone who is overworked will make mistakes, but when it comes to those mistakes being made in this field, the consequences are dire.
Unsafe workloads and understaffing are often a result of budget cuts. In a time when medical costs are too high and there is work to lower costs, hospitals and other facilities cannot operate at the staff levels they current have. If care costs go down, they must cut staff.