Make down time mandatory for health-care workers

While we were going through over 60 9-1-1 calls with my child in medical distress, from March to November of 2009 I was given a perspective into our health care system that most don’t  get to experience.

We found out at the end she was having seizures due to a prescription medication.

We have been slowly healing from that year, and as I have  reflected back on the things we experienced in the medical system, one of the things that stands out most is witnessing doctors and nurses who were working on second and even third winds, and were visibly burnt out.

I witnessed many mistakes do to exhaustion. I witnessed a doctor give a patient a diagnosis that was for a different patient. He was visibly working past his limitations, as there was a look of exhaustion on his face.

I have done a lot of thinking about that time, and the thing that keeps coming back in my mind is that commercial bus and truck drivers are forced by law to have down time before they are able to resume driving, due to the subsequent impairment that will occur if said down  time is not taken.

I feel this same consideration should be taken with our health-care workers.

I understand we are facing a shortage of health-care workers at this time, but I strongly feel it is in the best interest  of all that a law be imposed on health-care workers as it is on commercial drivers.

Imagine health-care workers working at optimum performance because they are not burnt out; how much more our medical system would run  at optimum performance; how many more health-care workers you would not have out on stress leave; and how many more people you would  attract to the field if they knew the burnout rate was lower.

Nicki Bennett-Criss