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 n*****tion 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 ***** 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 ***** an ***** population requiring increased hospitalization, a dearth of nursing staff only tr*****slates ***** more burden on the limited number ***** Nursing *****. In ***** hospitals, m*****atory overtime ***** a comm***** trend and nurses are literally *****ced to work ***** or lose their benefits or, even worse, risk 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 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 and some studies pertaining to it would provide us *****tter insight.

***** Overtime

With ***** number of patients requiring inpatient c*****, nationwide, hospitals are fa*****ed ***** a stiff resource crisis. Invariably, this shortage ***** ***** is met ***** implementing mandatory overtime regulations ***** ***** nursing staff. However, this ***** proved to be an unhealthy and dangerous practice affecting the quality of patient care as well as overburdening ***** nursing staff. Providing extended hours of service on a regular basis, nurses become tired and stressed out which not only 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 m*****atory ***** 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***** altogether. Further the increasing patient/ nurse ratio directly implies a serious compromise on pers*****al ***** to *****s. Let us now look into some recent research ***** that also confirm the negative effects of mandatory overwork among nurses.

Quality ***** Patient C*****

Evidence ***** ***** studies suggest ***** the quality of patient care is considerably comprom*****ed by continuous mandatory overtime duty allocation for *****. "Physiological factors such as fatigue, system variables such ***** increased work intensity, or a combination of fatigue and increased work ***** may contri*****e to the errors and near ***** we observed," [*****AN]. A nationwide study conducted by the California Nurses Association has ***** that nursing errors can be avoided if ***** working ***** 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 *****it ***** comp*****d to


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