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Is Your Doctor Putting You At Risk?

Is Your Doctor Putting You At Risk?


New survey shows most doctors work while sick.

We've all come into work with a cold before even if we know it's bad for everyone around us. Turns out doctors are no different, according to a new survey. 

According to NBC News, the study of 500 doctors, nurses, NPs, physician assistants, and nurse midwives at the Children's Hospital in Philadelphia found that 83 percent of health care workers say they've worked while ill despite their reported belief that doing so put their patients at risk. 

While many of the reported illnesses seem fairly benign (sniffles and sore throats) some are more startling (fevers and diarrhea). The news is especially troubling for those with compromised or suppressed immune systems, including many living with HIV. 

The health care workers told surveyers that they worked out of good intentions. Ninety-nine percent said they didn't want to let down colleagues, 95 percent said there was no one to cover them, and 92 percent worried about letting down patients. However, a whopping 64 percent worried their colleagues would think less of them if they called in sick. 

The survey highlights a problem in the health care industry when it comes to covering work for illness.

"Some respondents described a complete absence of a sick relief system in their clinical area, whereas others were aware that their area had a sick relief policy but reported it was not used in practice," the researchers wrote. "Others suggested that their clinical work area lacked enough staff to make designing a sick relief system feasible. Respondents reported having extreme difficulty finding coverage when they suddenly become symptomatic." 

For now, the best thing to do is protect yourself and avoid anyone who looks sick while visiting the doctor's office.


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Katie Peoples