According to Merriam-webster dictionary, malpractice is negligence, misconduct, lack of ordinary skill, or breach of duty in the performance of a professional service that results in injury, loss or death. Malpractice usually refers to acts of carelessness or negligence by a person with authority such as a doctors, attorneys, and/or dentists. More and more suits of malpractice are being filed within the medical field. There isn’t any concrete evidence as to why this trend is occurring. Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider strays from the accepted standard of practice that ends up causing injury or death to the patient.
Doctors aren’t the only ones at risk for being sued for malpractice. Nurse, Physician Assistants, certified nursing assistants, EMT’S, pharmacists and technicians also can be found to be negligent in one capacity or another. The reasons for filing a medical malpractice suit ranges from botched surgeries to injury of a patient during transfer. One can never know or be too careful when it comes to extending medical care, whether it’s something as simple as dispensing medication to ordering the correct diagnostic test for a patient.
More and more hospitals are implementing training classes as well as refresher courses for their employees to make sure everyone is up to par in their respective areas as well as any new equipment the hospital is using. We always hear and see malpractice suits from the point of view of the victim not the professional in question. The whole entire process can take a severe toll on this individual. Not only is this professional under scrutiny and faces thousands of dollars in fine, the pressure and fear of what’s to come can cause this person to err again or stop practicing all together. Due to the increase in malpractice suits, there’s been an upward trend in malpractice insurance. This type of insurance provides coverage in the event that a malpractice suit is filed against the medical professional. The cost for this insurance varies depending on your role in the medical field, however, the more you pay, the more coverage you have. According to medicalmalpractice.com,” fewer than one-half of 1% of the nation’s doctors face any serious state sanctions each year. 2,696 total serious disciplinary actions a year, the number state medical boards took in 1999, is a pittance compared to the volume of injury and death of patients caused by negligence of doctors”. “Harvard researchers found that 1% of a representative sample of patients treated in New York state hospitals in 1984 were injured, and one-quarter of those died, because of medical negligence. Nationwide, that would have translated into 234,000 injuries and 80,000 deaths in 1988 from negligence in American hospitals”. While these figures aren’t exactly staggering, it does show that medical mistakes are made that ends with a family grieving and a professional never quite being the same.
As someone aspiring to be in the medical field, I find that it can be challenging on so many levels. The chances of making an error is very high and the repercussions have many considering other, less challenging fields. As rewarding as it can be, it has to be something you really want in order to venture into the medical field. The possibility of malpractice suits and the necessary protection that comes along with heavy costs will discourage individuals from becoming a health care professional yet the satisfaction from saving a life or making an ill person feels better have me pursuing my Bachelor’s in healthcare management followed by Med school.