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 nation with an aging population and around 1/3rd ***** the registered nurses above fifty, there is currently a 15% unfilled vacancy for RN, which is 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 aging population requiring *****d hospitalization, a dearth of nursing staff only tr*****slates to more burden on ***** limited number ***** Nursing staff. In ***** hospitals, m*****atory overtime is a common trend and ***** are literally *****ced to work more or lose their benefits or, even w*****se, r*****k being fired. Though several studies ***** indicated dangerous consequences of m*****atory 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 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 *****tter insight.

***** Overtime

With ***** number of patients requiring inpatient c*****, nationwide, hospitals are faced with a stiff resource crisis. Inv*****riably, this shortage ***** ***** is met by implementing ***** overtime regulations ***** the nursing *****. However, this has proved to be an un*****y ***** d*****gero***** practice affecting the quality of patient care as well as overburdening ***** nursing staff. Providing extended hours ***** service on a regul*****r basis, nurses become tired and stressed out which ***** only increases the attrition rate but also affects the *****come of the patient. Foley of the ANA says, "By far the riskiest result of understaffing is the abuse ***** m*****a*****ry overtime as a staffing tool," [Robert Steinbrook]. Over extended, burnt out and even underpaid, nurses develop job d*****satisfaction ***** as statistics indicate one out of five nurses are contemplating on quitting the professi***** altoge*****r. Further the incre*****ing patient/ nurse ratio directly implies a serious compromise on pers*****al ***** to **********. Let us now look into some recent research studies that also confirm the negative effects of mandatory overwork among nurses.

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

Evidence ***** research studies suggest that the quality of patient care is considerably compromised 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 intensity may contribute to the errors ***** near errors we observed," [*****AN]. A nationwide study conducted by the California Nurses Association ***** indicated that ***** errors can be avoided if the working ***** are ***** ***** a healthy maximum of 8 hours. As per the research nurses ***** work for more than 12.5 ***** on a d*****y ***** thrice as likely to commit errors compared *****


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