Does your medical facility have mandatory overtime for nurses?

  1. Here is this month's survey question:

    Does your medical facility have mandatory overtime for nurses?

    Currently Nurses are striking over this very issue at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts. For more info, visit the MNA strike page: http://www.allnurses.com/jump.cgi?ID=1717


    We encourage your comments and discussion on this question. To post your comments, just click on the "Post Reply" button.


    [This message has been edited by bshort (edited May 15, 2000).]
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  2. 33 Comments

  3. by   ecb
    My facility has SELECTIVE mandatory over time. Night shoift is required to stay late into day shift if days is short, no day off, just time and a half, but Days is only ASKED to stay if they are NOT working the next day. Evening shift gets asked to stay if Nights is short, but is not mandated (because they are the people who do OT, do not want to anoy them) so nights works short, often, and is the only shift that gets actually MANDATED (unless there is only 1 LPN scheduled for night shift, then an RN HAS to stay, but she gets the next day off), I find this unfair, and discrimanatory, but that is a facility wide problem, and one even I cannot fight (I tried).

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    *** May we all have the serenity to accept what we cannot change, and the determination to change what we cannot accept. ***
  4. by   Pfhol
    Originally posted by bshort:
    Here is this month's survey question:

    Does your medical facility have mandatory overtime for nurses?

    Currently Nurses are striking over this very issue at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts. For more info, visit the MNA strike page: http://www.allnurses.com/jump.cgi?ID=1717


    We encourage your comments and discussion on this question. To post your comments, just click on the "Post Reply" button.

    Also, if you havent voted, please take a minute to vote at the bottom of the page at: http://allnurses.com/

    [This message has been edited by bshort (edited April 18, 2000).]
    Yes our institution has mandatory overtime(MO). This is a very tricky situation. If the choices are MO versus unsafe staffing ratios what are you supposed to do. However if the MO requires exceptionally prolonged or excessive hours for the nurse this could set up unsafe practice also. With the predictions of nurse shortages becoming even more severe, this is an issue administrators need to take very seriously immediately. Administrators also need to realize that they may evoke even more severe shortages due to attrition because many nurse will quit if forced to work overtime.

  5. by   KKneer
    I get mandated on average once a week. I really hate it. I am a single mother whoe is also going to college full time and have missed classes, and been unable to study or complete assignments due to being mandated. Does anybody know of any laws in NY State that place limits or rules to mandations?
    I am fed up with always going in to work never knowing if I will be able to leave. It creates a lot of unneeded stress in an already stressful occupation!!!
  6. by   NurseRachet
    We do. It has been in effect now for about 2 years. It works fairly well, only minor problems with employees that when its their turn to work mandatory are hard to "locate". If this becomes a repeated problem, they are called in an counseled for their unavailability. Another thing that we allow is the nurses to "switch off". This gives them the chance to work extra for someone else in the event they have a sitter problem, attend college, etc. In other words, they work out who and if they can work, and they get credit for working overtime - even if they work for someone else. We also have low census/ on call. This has been really benefical when the census has a sudden influx. The nurses don't seem to object t this policy. They take a pager with them, so it isn't like they are locked in to staying home. They also get paid for being on call. If interested, I can send you a copy of our policy.

    [This message has been edited by NurseRachet (edited April 18, 2000).]

    [This message has been edited by NurseRachet (edited April 18, 2000).]
  7. by   peck13
    NO MO YET @ MY HOSPITAL. 14 YEARS AGO, THEY TRIED THAT DURING OUR LAST SHORTAGE. THEY LOST THE ENTIRE NOC SHIFT AND SEVERAL DAY AND EVES. MY UNITS TRY TO BRIBE THE STAFF WITH BONUSES. WORKED WELL FOR A MONTH, THEN EVERYONE WAS BURT OUT. NOW WE JUST HOPE FOR THE BEST. DOESN'T WORK TO MANDADTE OT WHEN THERE ARE SO MANY JOBS TO CHOOSE FROM.
  8. by   UnionRN
    NurseRachet is a nurse manager. Her feeling that mandatory overtime works well obviously referrs to the management opinion. The fact that nurses who are mandated are "hard to locate" indicates that it is not working so well for the staff nurses. I wonder how many times NurseRachet has been mandated to work double shifts?

    Originally posted by NurseRachet:
    We do. It has been in effect now for about 2 years. It works fairly well, only minor problems with employees that when its their turn to work mandatory are hard to "locate". If this becomes a repeated problem, they are called in an counseled for their unavailability. Another thing that we allow is the nurses to "switch off". This gives them the chance to work extra for someone else in the event they have a sitter problem, attend college, etc. In other words, they work out who and if they can work, and they get credit for working overtime - even if they work for someone else. We also have low census/ on call. This has been really benefical when the census has a sudden influx. The nurses don't seem to object t this policy. They take a pager with them, so it isn't like they are locked in to staying home. They also get paid for being on call. If interested, I can send you a copy of our policy.

    [This message has been edited by NurseRachet (edited April 18, 2000).]

    [This message has been edited by NurseRachet (edited April 18, 2000).]
  9. by   leslie :-D
    Our DON is threatening us with mandatory overtime. My question being, can the administor/don legally implement this? Are there any protocols they need to follow? How does one differentiate between patient abandonment versus delivering unsafe care, both which could warrant losing your license. Any input would be helpful. The nurses do not belong to any unions and we want to know our rights. Thanks.
  10. by   LenMalRN
    Originally posted by NurseRachet:
    We do. It has been in effect now for about 2 years. It works fairly well, only minor problems with employees that when its their turn to work mandatory are hard to "locate". If this becomes a repeated problem, they are called in an counseled for their unavailability. Another thing that we allow is the nurses to "switch off". This gives them the chance to work extra for someone else in the event they have a sitter problem, attend college, etc. In other words, they work out who and if they can work, and they get credit for working overtime - even if they work for someone else. We also have low census/ on call. This has been really benefical when the census has a sudden influx. The nurses don't seem to object t this policy. They take a pager with them, so it isn't like they are locked in to staying home. They also get paid for being on call. If interested, I can send you a copy of our policy.

    [This message has been edited by NurseRachet (edited April 18, 2000).]

    [This message has been edited by NurseRachet (edited April 18, 2000).]

    Excuse me, counseled on the avalability Nurse rachet you have got to be a supv or in management nursing is a career not a prison sentence , and as usual most mandated ot is not for emergencies but to fill holes in the schedule that are known about for awhile. Also please tell me what give mamagement the right to endanger our license for the facility

  11. by   nurseeboo
    Our hospital doesn't have mandatory overtime and I hope it never does. But, on the other hand, we have a big nursing shortage because of so few applicants. This leads to using flex and agency nurses who get paid more, thereby depleting the budget. Because the hospital can't afford so many higher paid nurses, they leave the nursing units understaffed and over stressed. This leads to the current nursing staff and CNAs leaving for less stressful pastures. I'm glad I am not in administration- what a mess!! But who suffers the most- our patients and their families who are our primary concerns.
  12. by   CHUBBY
    Both facilities I have worked at do not, but I know several nurses who went to work at a place that did it..and they quit. They said, had they known when they applied, they would have never taken the job. Another hospital I worked at , use to mandate until a 7month pregnant nurse was mandated to work nights, she fell asleep on the way home in the morning and died in the ensuing MVA. Her husband sued the hospital and won...hopefully, it wont get to that point for all hospitals to stop this dangerous practice. PS...in my 18 years as a nurse, I've seen managment come in on "off" hours TWICE to work because staffing was short
  13. by   20year veteran
    I've just joined and couldn't resist throwing in my 2 cents worth. I am a Nurse Manager at this time but most of my time in nursing has been as a bedside care giver.
    In our ICU we work 8 hour shifts, by staff choice. The staff came up with a rotation for who was going to stay an extra 4 hours and/or come in 4 hours early when more staffing was absolutely necessary. The charge nurse for each shift [this is a nurse who takes a full patient assignment] has an equal vote with the shift supervisor in deciding if extra staff is needed. This overtime is to cover ICU, the staff aren't floated to other units. When things are slow in ICU then they don't have overtime. When things are really busy they know ahead of time who's turn is what day/date so there isn't the unpredictability of not knowing when the bomb could fall.

    I have to say that this does well because it was devised by the staff, implemented by the staff and is reviewed and revised by the staff.

    Recently the hospital and ICU began to implement this overtime policy and others routinely a group of nurse managers went to our Vice President and now for the first time ever we have agency nurses working here until we can get positions filled. One of the primary reasons our VP agreed to an agency was "so we don't burn out our nurses!" Can you see why we think he's a peach! and yes, he's a nurse too.

    I interpret a tone of frustration in many of the postings realted to this topic. It seems that you've tried a lot of things and nothing has worked. You've been doing this for a long time and you're at the end of your rope. Please know that even though I am a manager now I'm still a nurse and I really do understand. I also know that at this point words aren't what you need, you need action and I can't give you that.

    All the best to you.
  14. by   Squeeta2
    I do not work in a facilty that has mandatory OT..Which is why I work there instead of the facilty that I used to!! Where I used to work the same people used to get stuck staying all the time. Supposedly after 3 refusals the person was to be terminated, everyone knew it wasn't going to happen due to the current nursing shortage & they took advantadge. I hated to leave a place that I had been so long :0( But I knew that working 16 hours consitently, wether or not you had to work the following day was affecting my pts quality of care. I currently work 12 hour shifts & pick up OT as I want to, not because I'm mandated to. My DON has even been known to come in & provide care so we can go home & come back again in a functional happy state! She requires all of the "management" team to do so as well. I think it keeps them linked to reality & provides for a true team spirit! BTW we are a huge facilty & if it works for us it can work anywhere!!


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