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 registered 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 ***** slated to increase further to 20% by 2020. [Gorenberg]. Compounding the problem is the increasing trend of downsizing ***** ***** many hospitals have reduced their nursing staff. Under the present scenario of an aging population requiring increased hospitalization, a de*****rth of nursing staff only translates ***** more burden on ***** limited number ***** Nursing *****. In ***** hospitals, m*****atory overtime ***** a comm***** trend and nurses are literally forced to work more or lose their benefits or, even w*****se, 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 ***** continue to be exploited. Despite evidence from studies suggesting the dangers involved, only a few states have passed regulations against ***** overtime for nurses while in most states the *****ing hours of nurses is largely unregulated. A brief overview of the problem ***** some studies pertaining to it would provide us better insight.

Mandatory Overtime

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

Quality of Patient Care

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


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