Mandatory Overtime And Its Effects On Patients

1437 Words Nov 18th, 2014 6 Pages
Mandatory Overtime and Its Effects on Patients Outcome

For some nurses, mandatory overtime can be an advantage due to financial instability but mostly mandatory overtime can cause fatigue, burnout, injuries, errors, inadequate sleep and deficits in performance. According to research working long hours which consists more than 40 hours a week or over 12 hours a day leads to an increased medication errors and patient mortality. The probability of making medication errors increases tremendously when nurses work longer than 12.5 hours a day. During surveys regarding reasons of overtime, 60 % of nurses stated that overtime was obligatory as part of their job, 29 % of nurses stated that they volunteered and 41% of nurses stated that they were “on call hours” (Bae, 2012)
In 2006 a survey sample of 2,274 Registered Nurses were questioned regarding their work schedule for all jobs during a 6 month period. The conclusion was that a quarter of registered nurses worked 12 hours or more a day and a third of the total sample worked more than 40 hours per week in all jobs held. (Bae, 2013)
When nurses experience fatigue due to excessive overtime, effects that can occur are reduced decision making ability, reduced communication skills, increased forgetfulness, increased tendency of risk taking, reduced ability to handle stress on the job, decreased ability to do complex planning, and inability to recall details which can all danger patients wellbeing. Unfortunately even with all the…
Open Document