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

M*****a*****ry Overtime

With ***** number of patients requiring inpatient care, nationwide, hospitals are faced ***** a stiff resource crisis. Inv*****riably, this shortage of nurses is met ***** implementing mandatory overtime ***** ***** ***** nursing staff. However, this ***** proved to be an un*****y *****d dangerous practice affecting the quality of patient ***** as well as overburdening the nursing staff. Providing extended ***** ***** service on a regul*****r basis, ***** become tired and stressed out which not only increases the attrition rate but also affects the outcome of the patient. Foley of ***** *****NA says, "By far the riskiest result of understaffing is the abuse of m*****atory overtime as a staffing tool," [Robert Steinbrook]. Over extended, burnt out and even underpaid, nurses develop job d*****satisfaction ***** as statistics indicate one out of five nurses are contemplating on quitting the profession altoge*****r. Further the increasing patient/ nurse ratio directly implies a serious compromise on personal c***** to patients. Let us now look into some re*****ent research ***** that also confirm ***** negative effects of mandatory overwork among nurses.

Quality ***** Patient Care

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


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