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 n*****tion with an aging population and around 1/3rd ***** the registered nurses above fifty, *****re is currently a 15% unfilled vacancy for RN, which is slated to increase further to 20% by 2020. [Gorenberg]. Compounding the problem is the increasing trend of downsizing by ***** many hospitals have reduced their nursing staff. Under the present scenario ***** an aging population requiring *****d hospitalization, a de*****rth of nursing ***** only tr*****slates ***** more burden on ***** limited number ***** Nursing staff. In many hospitals, mandatory overtime is a common trend and ***** are literally ********** to work ***** or lose ***** 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 working hours of nurses is largely unregulated. A brief overview of ***** problem and some studies pertaining to it would provide us *****tter insight.

M*****atory Overtime

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

Quality of Patient Care

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


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