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 ***** 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 ***** ***** many hospitals have reduced their nursing staff. Under the present scenario of an aging population requiring increased hospitalization, a dearth of nursing ***** only translates to more burden on ***** limited number ***** Nursing staff. In many hospitals, mandatory overtime is a comm***** trend and nurses are literally ********** to work more or lose their benefits *****, even worse, r*****k being fired. Though several studies have indicated dangerous consequences of m*****atory overtime, it is unfortunate that not much has been done to avoid this and ***** continue to be explo*****ed. Despite evidence from studies suggesting the dangers involved, only a few states have passed regulations against m*****atory overtime for nurses while in most states the *****ing 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 increasing number of patients requiring inpatient c*****, nationwide, hospitals are fa*****ed with a stiff resource crisis. Inv*****riably, this shortage ***** ***** is met by implementing m*****a*****ry overtime ***** for ***** nursing *****. However, this has proved to be an un*****y and dangerous practice affecting the quality of patient care as well as overburdening the ***** staff. Providing extended ***** of service on a regul*****r basis, nurses become tired and stressed out which not 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 of manda*****ry overtime as a staffing tool," [Robert Steinbrook]. Over extended, burnt out and even underpaid, nurses develop job dissatisfaction 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 personal ***** to *****s. Let us now look into some recent research studies that also confirm ***** negative effects of mandatory overwork among nurses.

Quality of Patient Care

Evidence from ***** studies suggest ***** the quality ***** patient care is considerably comprom*****ed by continuo***** mandatory overtime duty allocation for nurses. "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 ***** indicated that nursing errors can be avoided if ***** working hours are limited ***** a healthy maximum of 8 hours. As per the research ***** ***** work for more than 12.5 hours on a day are thrice as likely to commit errors comp*****d to


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