Essay - Registered Nurses and Mandatory Overtime Introduction the United States is...

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Registered Nurses and Mandatory Overtime


The United States is experiencing a huge shortage in reg*****tered nurses who constitute the backbone of ***** health care sector. As a nation with an aging population and around 1/3rd ***** the registered nurses above fifty, there is currently a 15% unfilled v*****cancy for RN, which is slated to increase further to 20% by 2020. [Gorenberg]. Compounding the problem is ***** increasing trend of downsizing ***** which many hospitals have reduced their nursing staff. Under the present scenario ***** an aging population requiring increased hospitalization, a de*****rth of nursing ***** only tr*****slates ***** more burden on the limited number ***** Nursing staff. In ***** hospitals, m*****atory overtime is a common trend and ***** are literally forced to work more or lose ***** benefits or, even worse, risk being fired. Though several studies ***** indicated dangerous consequences of m*****atory overtime, it is unfortunate that not much has been done to avoid this and Nurses continue to be explo*****ed. Despite evidence from studies suggesting the dangers involved, only a few states have passed regulations against m*****atory overtime for nurses while in most states the *****ing hours of nurses is largely unregulated. A brief overview of the problem and some studies pertaining to it would provide us *****tter insight.

***** Overtime

With ***** number of patients requiring inpatient care, nationwide, hospitals are faced with a stiff resource crisis. Inv*****riably, this shortage ***** nurses is met by implementing m*****atory overtime regulations for ***** nursing *****. However, this has proved to be an un*****y and dangerous practice affecting the quality of patient care as well as overburdening ***** nursing staff. Providing extended ***** of service on a regul*****r basis, nurses become tired ***** stressed out which ***** only increases the attrition rate but also affects the ********** of the patient. Foley of the ANA says, "By far the riskiest result of understaffing is the abuse ***** mandatory ***** as a staffing tool," [Robert Steinbrook]. Over extended, burnt out and even underpaid, nurses develop job dissatisfaction and as statistics indicate one out of five nurses are contemplating on quitting the professi***** altoge*****r. Further the incre*****ing patient/ nurse ratio directly implies a serious compromise on personal care to **********. Let us now look into some recent research ***** that also confirm the negative effects of mandatory overwork among nurses.

Quality ***** Patient Care

Evidence from ***** studies suggest that the quality of patient ***** is considerably comprom*****ed by continuo***** mandatory overtime duty allocation ***** *****. "Physiological factors such as fatigue, system variables such ***** increased work intensity, or a combination of fatigue and ***** work intensity may contri*****e to the errors ***** near errors we observed," [CAN]. A nationwide study conducted by the California Nurses Association has ***** that ***** errors can be avoided if the *****ing hours are ***** ***** a healthy maximum ***** 8 hours. As per the research nurses who work for more than 12.5 hours on a d*****y are thrice as likely to commit ***** comp*****d *****


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