Study Done at CHOP Shows Huge Percentage of Doctors and Nurses Work While Sick



A new study published in JAMA Pediatrics found that a whopping 83 percent of doctors and nurses at the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania had worked while sick at least once in the past year, The New York Times reports.

The purpose of the study, which surveyed over 500 physicians and APCs (which includes workers like nurse practitioners and physician assistants), was to find out how often and why health care workers show up to work sick when they know it’s no good for them or their patients. So, now that we know it happens on the regular, why do they do it? Well, the study found that many of the physicians and nurses who worked while sick didn’t want to let patients and colleagues down or burden their coworkers with extra work. Noble? Yes. Still gross and worrisome? Yes. Over 60 percent of the study’s participants said coming to work sick was just the cultural norm at the hospital.

The Times quotes CHOP’s Dr. Julie S. Sammons as saying, “We focus on hand hygiene and other infection control measures. Not coming to work when you’re sick is part of this.” But based on the study, it seems there are plenty of other factors aside from the risk of spreading sickness around the hospital that play in to the “Should I really go to work today?” decision.

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