Today’s health care workers face unprecedented levels of stress, with many turning to alcohol, food, or other unhealthy behaviors to cope. In the midst of these issues, it’s no wonder that medical errors remain the third-leading cause of death in America. While structural shifts in scheduling and workload can make a huge difference, we might not see these much-needed changes for years. Until then, another solution may help: meditation.
Medical Errors: How Common Are They And What Role Does Stress Play?
Researchers at Johns Hopkins estimate that medical errors account for over 250,000 deaths every year. Stress could be partially to blame for these shocking statistics. Multiple studies indicate that surgeons, nurses, and other health care workers suffering stress are more likely to make errors. Stress impacts professionals’ ability to focus on difficult procedures. It also leaves them less likely to correctly make the split-second decisions needed to save lives.
How Medical Professionals Benefit from Meditation
Meditation helps distracted employees take a break from their mental burdens and embrace a more mindful state of being. Not only can this deliver considerable stress relief, it may also sharpen critical thinking skills. Those who adopt a mindful approach to life are better capable of achieving the clarity they need in high-stakes situations. Dr. Mark Gelula adds that meditation helps doctors create emotional space between patients, so they can more effectively address each situation as it arises.
Hospitals and clinics are finally beginning to take note, with one Minneapolis hospital even implementing a ‘rest room’ to combat burnout. Hopefully, with an increased emphasis on mindfulness and meditation, future patients will suffer fewer medical errors.
If a medical error has caused you or a loved one to suffer, you owe it to yourself to take action. The team at Regan Zambri Long PLLC can help. Reach out today to learn how we can assist you with your medical malpractice case.