When many people enter the health care industry, they have the dream of helping people. Of course, after they finish school and land their jobs, they soon come to find that their positions are not as fulfilling as they had hoped. In fact, many Texas health care professionals find themselves at risk of facing medical malpractice claims.

Recent reports indicated that a substantial number of individuals in the health care profession are facing burnout early on in their careers. Doctors, nurses and those in similar positions become more error-prone and more likely to suffer from depression, emotional exhaustion, cynicism and loss of enthusiasm, due to substantial workloads, pressure and the chaotic environment in which they work. In fact, 60% of medical students and residents indicated that they experience burnout, and between 35% and 54% of doctors and nurses experience burnout as well.

Unfortunately, burnout is not only a problem for the medical professionals but also for the patients because exhausted and apathetic staff members are often more likely to make mistakes. There is hope that medical schools and health care systems will take steps to reduce burnout and help staff members deal with it. Training, using wellness officers for staff members, reducing redundant paperwork and other efforts could help.

Still, burnout or not, if a patient believes that a medical staff member acted negligently, it is possible for a medical malpractice claim to come about. If so, Texas doctors and nurses may find themselves in positions of needing to defend against claims. It can seem like an even more taxing process on top of an already chaotic profession, but defending against such claims is often necessary.