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 ***** 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 v*****cancy for RN, which ***** slated to increase further to 20% by 2020. [Gorenberg]. Compounding the problem is ***** increasing trend of downsizing by ***** many hospitals have reduced their nursing staff. Under the present scenario ***** an ***** population requiring ********** hospitalization, a de*****rth of nursing ***** only translates to more burden on the limited number of Nursing staff. In ***** hospitals, mandatory 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 ***** indicated dangerous consequences of ***** overtime, it is unfortunate that not much has been done to avoid this ***** Nurses continue to be exploited. Despite evidence from ***** suggesting the dangers involved, only a few states have passed regulations against mandatory 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 better insight.

Mandatory Overtime

With ***** number of patients requiring inpatient care, nationwide, hospitals are faced with a stiff resource crisis. Invariably, this shortage of nurses is met ***** implementing mandatory overtime ***** for the nursing staff. However, this ***** proved to be an un*****y *****d 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 the riskiest result of understaffing is the abuse ***** mandatory ***** as a staffing tool," [Robert Steinbrook]. Over extended, burnt out and even underpaid, nurses develop job d*****satisfaction ***** ***** statistics indicate one out of five nurses are contemplating on quitting the profession altogether. Further the increasing patient/ nurse ratio directly implies a serious compromise on personal c***** to *****s. Let us now look into some re*****ent research studies that also confirm ***** negative effects of mandatory overwork among nurses.

Quality ***** Patient Care

Evidence ***** research studies suggest that the quality of patient care is considerably comprom*****ed by continuo***** mandatory overtime duty allocation ***** *****. "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 and near ***** we observed," [CAN]. A nationwide study conducted by the California Nurses Association has *****d ***** nursing errors can be *****ed if the ********** ***** are ***** to 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 ***** *****it errors compared to


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