The For The Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act

820 Words Jul 24th, 2016 4 Pages
Gray Area of Mandatory Overtime
Does one ever think about the words “required” or “extended work shifts”? To countless nurses these terminologies or jargons mean mandatory overtime. In today’s healthcare, “required” overtime has sky rocketed, attributable to, the nursing shortages throughout the United States. Studies have revealed that working “extended work shifts or additional shifts” have a negative impact on both patient and nurse safety. The purpose of this paper is to inform and advocate for the Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act. This author will discuss the key points, provide a critique of empirical evidence, and demonstrate the importance and impact of this Act to the nursing profession.
Key Points
The continued shortage of registered nurses will be a catalyst for the increasing stress placed upon practicing nurses now and in the future. Mandatory overtime has been an incessant problem within the nursing profession. When lives are at risk, alertness is a critical part of a nurse’s job performance. Fatigue impairs one’s judgement directly affecting patient and nursing safety or outcomes. This author’s typical six week work schedule consists of eighteen-twelve hour shifts, nine “required” twelve hour call shifts, and three-four hour back-up shifts. A nurse that accepts a patient assignment in the operating room cannot legally or ethically leave when their shift has ended without proper relief. Inevitably, without proper staffing departure is not an…
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