Chasing Zero, I believe, is a documentary that will never completely leave my mind as long as I work in the field of healthcare. Chasing Zero presents the topic of medical errors: it portrays the disastrous effects they can have on their recipients and how they can ruin the lives of the healthcare providers at fault. However, beyond bringing forth awareness about the harm that medical errors can cause, Chasing Zero also presents a goal. This goal is to decrease the amount of medical errors that occur, by such a significant amount, that the resulting number is zero.
Zero is not an easy objective, and many people may think it is impossible. However, no matter the difficulty, it is the responsibility of every healthcare worker to do his or her part to reduce the general number of medical errors occurring as much as possible.
As a nursing student, I am particularly glad that I was exposed to the concept of medical errors this early on in my training so I can actively define my role in preventing them.
The documentary reminded me that I am entering a profession where my actions have real and significant consequences. A sloppy or incomplete performance in medicine is unacceptable and I must find the best way to become as competent as possible. I was immediately encouraged to become a better student in the classroom, to work harder and retain necessary knowledge that I know may be of great consequence one day. Additionally, since my skills have not yet been fully established, I can take certain measures to ensure that bad and perhaps dangerous habits which can lead to errors, do not develop.
I further believe that Chasing Zero will reduce errors simply because it brought awareness of the subject to the public.
Now, when people visit a healthcare facility for any reason, they will understand that the professionals working with them are human, and can therefore make mistakes. Through the documentary, people can learn to be their own advocates and to question anything that their healthcare provider is doing which is unclear to them. Chasing Zero presented many concepts to think about and a goal that, if worked for, can be achieved, at least on a personal level. As technology advances and awareness increases, this process might slowly become easier. Instruments such as bar code scanners for drug distribution are constantly being created or improved and new policies are continuously being instituted in hospitals. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to watch Chasing Zero and I hope to be a part of the movement that strives, every day, to successfully remove the concept of medical errors from our lives.