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 of the registered nurses above fifty, *****re is currently a 15% unfilled vacancy for RN, which ***** slated to increase further to 20% by 2020. [Gorenberg]. Compounding the problem is ***** increasing trend of downsizing by which many hospitals have reduced their nursing staff. Under the present scenario of an aging population requiring increased hospitalization, a dearth of nursing ***** only tr*****slates to more burden on ***** limited number ***** Nursing staff. In many hospitals, m*****atory overtime is a comm***** trend and nurses are literally forced to work ***** or lose their benefits or, even worse, risk 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 ***** continue to be exploited. Despite evidence from ***** 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 better insight.

Manda*****ry Overtime

With increasing number of patients requiring inpatient c*****, nationwide, hospitals are faced ***** a stiff resource crisis. Invariably, this shortage ***** ***** is met by implementing mandatory overtime ***** ***** the nursing staff. However, this ***** proved to be an unhealthy *****d dangero***** practice affecting the quality of patient care as well as overburdening the nursing staff. Providing extended ***** of service on a regular basis, nurses become tired and stressed out which ***** only increases the attrition rate but also affects the ********** of the patient. Foley of ***** *****NA says, "By far the 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 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 pers*****al care 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 ***** research studies suggest that the quality ***** patient care is considerably compromised by continuous mandatory overtime duty allocation for nurses. "Physiological factors such as fatigue, system variables such ***** ***** work intensity, or a combin*****tion of fatigue and increased work ***** may contribute to the errors ***** near ***** we observed," [CAN]. A nationwide study conducted by the California Nurses Association has indicated ***** ***** errors can be *****ed if the working hours are ***** ***** a healthy maximum ***** 8 hours. As per the research ***** ***** work for more than 12.5 hours on a d*****y are thrice as likely to *****it errors comp*****d to


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