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Mandatory Overtime : An Increasing Problem For Nurses Essay

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Mandatory overtime has become an increasing problem for nurses who work in many hospital settings. Mandatory overtime is defined as additional hours added to a nurse’s current shift, making the nurse feel as if it’s a threat of being fired or disciplinary action will be taken in some form if they refuse to stay and work. Extensive overtime studies have established and confirmed that there are serious dangers to both the nurse and the patient being cared for in all types of healthcare settings.
“It is common for the hospital to post schedules with holes in them, meaning that not all the shifts are covered and they are short on nurses from the start. The crisis is predictable and inevitable. These crises are not foreseen or emergency situations, but rather ones that are planned, systemic and programmed for failure. They are not due to “call –ins” that the hospitals like to cite. Even so, there is absolutely no leeway for the event when a nurse does all in sick” (Twarog, 2011, p. 10).
A nurse’s typical day isn’t without stress; it is usually a lot of complex planning, critical thinking, time management, an abundance of communications with all departments of the hospital, and documenting events that have happened throughout the day on their entire patient assignment. “Nurses who are mandated following the completion of their regular shift are often ill-equipped to continue working. They have not planned for that situation with: proper advanced rest, arrangements for
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