Is the Professionalism of Doctors, Nurses Being Exploited?

Doctors, nurses often do what’s right by their patients, even if it comes at a high personal cost. Is their professional nature being exploited by those in charge?

As the corporatization of healthcare continues at a rapid pace and staffing shortages march on, are the professionals at the heart of the health industry being exploited for their work ethic and professionalism? An op-ed published in The New York Times by Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD, an attending physician at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, postulates this to be true.

The op-ed, which points out that doctors and nurses often do the right thing for their patients, even though it frequently comes at a high personal cost, casts a scathing light on higher-ups who manipulate this to their favor. “If doctors and nurses clocked out when their paid hours were finished, the effect on patients would be calamitous. Doctors and nurses know this, which is why they don’t shirk. The system knows it, too, and takes advantage,” Dr. Ofri says in the piece.

Dr. Ofri goes on to point a blaming finger at time-consuming EHR, calling it the “biggest culprit of the mushrooming workload” that has been thrust upon medical professionals in recent years.

“For most doctors and nurses, it is unthinkable to walk away without completing your work because dropping the ball could endanger your patients,” Dr. Ofri states, which is the conundrum at the heart of the op-ed. Real lives are at stake, but not just those of the patients—the lives and livelihoods of those who care for them, too.

Read the op-ed in its entirety here, and tell us if you agree or disagree in the comments below.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.