Researchers Find Health Care Professionals Skip Sick Days

Posted on July 15, 2015 by Shapiro Law Group

medical mistakes

New research suggests that doctors refuse to take sick days, and the implications could be catastrophic for patient safety. When doctors get sick, they are at much higher risk for infecting patients or committing medical mistakes.

Researchers found doctors are not alone when it comes to skipping sick days, and nurses, midwives and assistants have the same compulsion to stay at work. In the recent survey, posted in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, researchers collected interviews from 536 doctors and clinicians at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital.

Data collected from the survey found that 83 percent of medical professionals who responded have worked while sick, even when they knew it was wrong. According to the results from the survey, specialists, assistants, doctors and other hospital staff agreed working while sick jeopardized patient safety. Study data shows 9 percent of respondents have worked more than five times while suffering from illnesses.

Doctors Putting Patient Safety At Risk By Refusing To Take Sick Days

Authors of the study claim that a lack of trained specialists encourages health care workers to show up sick. Another factor that keeps health care workers from taking day includes a workplace culture to never be absent, unless gravely ill.

As doctors, nurses and health care specialists, there is a duty to protect the safety of patients. Doctors and other professionals who took part in the survey cite staff concerns, stigma, and not wanting to let colleagues down as reasons for not taking a sick day. However legitimate these concerns may be, patient safety should always be a top priority.

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