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 registered nurses who constitute the backbone of the health care sector. As a n*****tion with an aging population and around 1/3rd ***** the ***** 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 ***** 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 ***** Nursing staff. In many hospitals, mandatory overtime is a common trend and ***** are literally ********** to work ***** or lose their benefits *****, even worse, risk being fired. Though several studies have indicated dangerous consequences of ***** overtime, it is unfortunate that not much has been done to avoid this ***** ***** continue to be explo*****ed. Despite evidence from studies suggesting the dangers involved, only a few states have passed regulations against mandatory overtime for nurses while in most states the working hours of nurses is largely unregulated. A brief overview of ***** 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. Invariably, this ***** of ***** is met by implementing mandatory overtime ***** ***** the nursing staff. However, this ***** proved to be an unhealthy and dangero***** practice affecting the quality of patient care as well as overburdening the ***** staff. Providing extended ***** ***** service on a regular basis, nurses become tired ***** stressed out which not ***** increases the attrition rate but also affects the outcome of the patient. Foley of the *****NA says, "By far ***** riskiest result of understaffing is the abuse of mandatory overtime as a staffing tool," [Robert Steinbrook]. Over extended, burnt out and even underpaid, nurses develop job dissatisfaction ***** ***** 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 pers*****al care to *****s. Let us now look into some recent research ***** that also confirm the negative effects of ***** overwork among nurses.

Quality of Patient Care

Evidence from research studies suggest that the quality of patient ***** is considerably comprom*****ed by continuous mandatory overtime duty allocation for *****. "Physiological factors such as fatigue, system variables such as increased work intensity, or a combin*****tion of fatigue and ***** work intensity may contribute to the errors and 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 ***** a healthy maximum ***** 8 hours. As per the research nurses ***** work for more than 12.5 ***** on a d*****y ***** thrice as likely to commit ***** compared to


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