Mandatory Overtime Research Paper

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Introduction
Mandatory overtime is a topic most nurses are familiar with. Due to nurse shortages, nurses are often expected to work extra hours in addition to their regular hours. By mandating nurses to work extra hours, it prevents a unit from having to work understaffed and patients will have needs meet. The ill effect of mandating nurses to work overtime greatly outweighs the benefits. Consequently, when mandating extra hours, nurses may feel fatigued and stressed, resulting in unintentional harm to patients.
History
Mandatory overtime is defined as extra hours one must work in addition to their regular hours. Mandatory overtime is a practice that is utilized due to the nursing shortage and high turnover rate. This practice helps
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Nurses are reporting dissatisfaction and feeling burn-out due to working longer and more hours. Consequently because of this, nurses are leaving their place of employment and employers are experiencing high turn-over rates and staff shortages. The bill, Registered Nurses and Patient Protection Act was introduced by U.S. House Representative Tom Lantos. In Lantos’s bill it states, “no registered nurse would be required to work beyond eight hours in any work day or 80 hours in any 14-day work period” (as cited in Jordan & Tabone, 2000). Lantos’s bill regulated the number of hours a nurse is required to work.
Through all the research reviewed, it is without a doubt that most adverse patient events are linked to nurses who work mandatory and voluntary overtime. Even though mandatory overtime is linked to adverse patient events, there are a few benefits. Benefits include, adequate nurse to patient ratios, prevents short staffing, and employers are not having to utilize and pay the extra expense of temporary nurses. Through all the research reviewed these few benefits are not adequate enough to justify that mandatory overtime is effective and in everyone’s best interest.
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