Generations and Medical Malpractice Part Two

Generations and Medical Malpractice Part Two

There are four generations of people employed in health care. Consider how each reacts to situations that put patients at risk for medical errors and medical malpractice. These guidelines are generalities and may not apply to a particular person.

nurse expert witness 3. Gen X

Gen Xers were born between 1965 and 1978. The Watergate debacle, which revealed the extent of dirty politics, was an influence on this generation. Women’s liberation affected traditional household roles and saw the rise of strong feminists. The gas crisis in 1973 resulted in a sudden feeling of vulnerability.

The Gen Xers were the first generation of children affected by both parents working. They were exposed to massive corporate layoff, leading them to value self-reliance. The quality of life and balancing work and home life affects this generation. They may be less likely to accept working long hours and schedule changes as they are driven by a need for life and work balances. They saw an increase in divorce rates.

This is the impatient generation. They are in a hurry and want quick promotions and for work to be fun and informal.

The Gen Xer tends to be more productive, producing more work in less time. They often prefer to work alone and may distrust and challenge authorities. This may influence their ability to work as part of a team and affect the need to communicate with others.

nurse expert witneses 4. Gen Y or Millennials

The Gen Y population was born between 1981 and 2000. This is the generation that is drawn towards the family for safety and security. They are a global generation who accept multiculturalism and multitasking as a way of life.

The Gen Ys are savvy about technology and instant communication. They are highly creative and well educated, confident, hopeful and goal oriented. They enjoy teamwork. They are a digital generation that is globally concerned. They expect 24-hour a day information. They have difficulty dealing with complex problems and are inexperienced within the medical world. They benefit from mentoring and structure.

This is a group who has a high need for feedback and structure. Data shows that 30 percent of Gen Y nurses’ turnover in the first year of practice and 57 percent by the second year. They have been taught to question each situation to find meaning in every task.

The Veterans may be reluctant to challenge authority, which may be necessary when the healthcare provider needs to be a patient advocate.

The Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Gen Yers have been taught to speak up. Gen X and Gen Y health care providers get frustrated with older people who resist technology.

All generations want to be respected, valued, and rewarded for their efforts. Healthcare workers do best when they recognize there may be generational differences, and welcome the diversity.

Read part one here.

Med League provides medical expert witnesses to trial lawyers. Please call us at (908)788-8227 or contact us today to discuss your next case.

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