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 the 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 v*****cancy for RN, which is slated to increase further to 20% by 2020. [Gorenberg]. Compounding the problem is ***** increasing trend of downsizing by which many hospitals have reduced their nursing staff. Under the present scenario ***** an ***** population requiring *****d hospitalization, a dearth of nursing ***** only translates ***** more burden on ***** limited number of Nursing staff. In many hospitals, mandatory overtime ***** a comm***** trend and ***** are literally forced to work ***** or lose ***** benefits *****, even worse, risk being fired. Though several studies have indicated dangerous consequences of mandatory overtime, it is unfortunate that not much has been done to avoid this and Nurses continue to be explo*****ed. Despite evidence from ***** suggesting the dangers involved, only a few states have passed regulations against ***** overtime for nurses while in most states the working hours of nurses is largely unregulated. A brief overview of the problem ***** some studies pertaining to it would provide us *****tter insight.

Manda*****ry Overtime

With ***** number of patients requiring inpatient c*****, nationwide, hospitals are fa*****ed with a stiff resource crisis. Inv*****riably, this ***** ***** ***** is met ***** implementing mandatory overtime ***** ***** ***** nursing staff. However, this has proved to be an unhealthy ********** dangerous practice affecting the quality of patient care as well as overburdening ***** ***** staff. Providing extended ***** of service on a regul*****r basis, nurses become tired and stressed out which not ***** increases the attrition rate but also affects the ********** of the patient. Foley of ***** *****NA says, "By far the 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 and as statistics indicate one out of five nurses are contemplating on quitting the profession altogether. Further the increasing patient/ nurse ratio directly implies a serious compromise on personal care to *****s. Let us now look into some recent research ***** that also confirm ***** negative effects of ***** overwork among nurses.

Quality of Patient Care

Evidence from research studies suggest that 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 ***** increased work intensity, or a combination of fatigue and ***** work intensity may contri*****e to the errors ***** near ***** we observed," [CAN]. A nationwide study conducted by the California Nurses Association has ***** ***** nursing errors can be *****ed if the working hours are limited ***** a healthy maximum of 8 hours. As per the research ***** who work for more than 12.5 hours on a d*****y are thrice as likely to commit ***** compared to


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