This morning on the news I heard of an investigation by the FAA regarding airline pilots and overtime. I found it amazing that they find that airline pilots who have worked 14 hours are involved in more fatal crashes than those who have only worked 8 hours. GEE, HOW ABOUT THE NURSE WHO IS IN HER 16TH HOUR OF WORK? Isn't she unsafe too - I mean, what if she administers a fatal medication dose - and if she is that tired, she will not even realize she has done it? Or the nurse is so tired she can't recognize when a patient is crashing? Or the nurse who is so wiped out that she transcribes the doctor's crappy handwritting incorrectly and the wrong med is administered for days before the error is found?
WHY ARE AIRLINE PILOTS ANY DIFFERENT THAN WE ARE - because they can kill HUNDREDS at one time and we only can wipe out one at a time. IS there a difference?
When is the government, who gives lip service to being concerned over fatal medication errors, going to put 2 and 2 together and realize that med errors and tired nurses go hand in glove, and that these same nurses are putting in a lot more hours than the airline pilots?? HOW MANY DO WE HAVE TO KILL TO DRAW ATTENTION TO THE PROBLEM?
Nov 2, '08
I agree with you. I am an airline pilot who lost his job and am seriously considering going into nursing. It all comes down to greed and the bean counters. Each life is given a pay-out value, and the costs are compared to adequate staffing / rest.
When we would fly a professional sports team, we would often go on duty at 9pm, and off duty around noon. One big advantage we had was three in the cockpit watching each-other. In the interest of safety, sometimes alternating cat-naps theoretically took place. In my earlier days, I remember slapping myself in the face to stay awake while flying. Allowing long duty days allowed profit margins to soar, and that is what is important, right? If fatigue caused an accident, WE should have known to call "fatigue" - which you theoretically couldn't get into trouble for doing.
I agree that in the medical field, CEO's feel you only kill one at a time, so it is not that big of a deal. Politicians don't want to change things either as they would lose financial support. Everything is acceptable as long as it is not your own family member.
I guess the only solution is to have the tally of fatigue related deaths go high enough that adequate staffing / rest regulations will occur.
Is there such a thing as calling "fatigue" in the medical field?
Last edit by Iflew on Nov 2, '08
: Reason: Punctuation