Study Shows Skilled Workers Risk Mistakes When Interrupted

A new study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology General shows that although highly trained workers perform work more quickly than others, but when they are interrupted, they tend to make more mistakes. Ironically enough, if an experienced, highly skilled nurse is preparing to give a patient a dosage of medication and is interrupted by a call or question, he or she is less likely to remember whether or not the medication was given than a less experienced nurse with fewer practical skills. So is faster work better? Not always, according to this study. It is better in the sense that it generally is more accurate than slower work, but when an interruption occurs, the accuracy rate of the work plummets.

As many workers in long-term care facilities engage in fairly repetitive tasks, the risk of interruption can be very detrimental to the accurate completion of those tasks. The bottom line is that intermittent interruptions between repeated tasks often results in lower work quality overall. When an interruption occurs, it is simply more difficult for the worker to remember where he or she left off. Essentially, the faster things are happening, the worse we are remembering them.

The explanation for this phenomenon lies in the fact that experienced, skilled workers generally perform certain procedural tasks much more quickly than less skilled workers. Those actions are more closely spaced in time because the worker is so accustomed to performing them. However, when interrupted, those actions are more easily confused, thus leading to inaccuracies due to an inability of the worker to remember what exactly he or she was doing at the time of the interruption.

When an elderly individual suffers injuries or even death as a result of being neglected or abused by nursing home staff or home health care providers, you may have legal grounds for a lawsuit against the staff members and facility or agency that failed to do their jobs. If you or a loved one is in this situation, you should definitely contact an experienced Wisconsin elder abuse attorney at Boller & Vaughan today. We know how to protect your rights and potentially get compensation for any injuries that occurred. Nursing homes and home health care providers have a duty to protect the patients for whom they are caring. When caregivers fail to meet that duty, it is up to you to hold negligent Wisconsin healthcare providers responsible for their actions. Call Boller & Vaughan today and see what assistance we can offer you and your family.


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