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 the health care sector. As a n*****tion with an aging population and around 1/3rd ***** the registered nurses above fifty, there is currently a 15% unfilled vacancy for RN, which ***** 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 of an ***** population requiring *****d hospitalization, a de*****rth of nursing ***** only translates ***** more burden on the limited number of Nursing staff. In many hospitals, m*****atory overtime is a comm***** trend and nurses are literally forced to work ***** or lose ***** benefits *****, even worse, risk being fired. Though several studies have indicated dangerous consequences ***** 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 ***** problem and some studies pertaining to it would provide us better insight.

Manda*****ry Overtime

With ***** number of patients requiring inpatient care, nationwide, hospitals are faced with a stiff resource crisis. Inv*****riably, this shortage ***** nurses is met ***** implementing mandatory overtime regulations for the nursing *****. However, this ***** proved to be an un*****y ********** dangero***** practice affecting the quality of patient ***** as well as overburdening ***** ***** staff. Providing extended hours ***** service on a regular basis, ***** become tired and stressed out which not only 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 ***** manda*****ry overtime as a staffing tool," [Robert Steinbrook]. Over extended, burnt out and even underpaid, nurses develop job dissatisfaction ***** as statistics indicate one out of five nurses are contemplating on quitting the profession altoge*****r. Further the incre*****ing 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 mandatory overwork among nurses.

Quality of Patient Care

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


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