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Study shows nurses with depression make more medical mistakes

When you go to a hospital for medical care, you expect doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to use their years of education, training and experience to provide you with the best treatment possible. When a doctor or nurse fails to provide you with adequate care, you risk facing serious injury or even death. If a medical error caused you harm, you or your family may sue all the parties involved in your care for medical negligence.

There are many reasons why a medical professional in Maryland may make a medical error. One recent study, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, found that registered nurses who suffer from depression are more likely to make medical errors than those who do not have depression. Published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, nearly 1,800 survey responses from United States nurses were analyzed and it was discovered that nurses with depression had up to a 71 percent higher likelihood of reporting medical errors than other nurses. About half of the nurses in the study reported some form of medical error within the last five years.

Unfortunately, depression is fairly common among nurses and other medical professionals. The study found that 54 percent of the nurses surveyed reported having poor health, both physically and mentally.

Due to the stigma of mental health care and the fear of punishment, many health care professionals fail to seek treatment for their mental health issues. Experts suggest that hospitals need to take steps to improve their employees' health by providing resources and supporting them. Failure to do so can result in a higher number of medical errors and, as a result, a higher number of medical malpractice claims.

Source: HealthLeaders Media, "Depressed Nurses Make More Medical Errors," Alexandra Wilson Pecci, Oct. 25, 2017

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