manatory overtime

  1. How much manatory overtime are nurses doing today in the work force and how much is unsafe. I am looking for actual figures for research. On an average pay period (2 weeks) how often are you mandated to stay over for more hours. I have worked the 16-20 hour shifts. Is this a fluke or do we all have to work these kind of hours?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   rncountry
    Join those of us that are trying to set up a march to bring these issues to the attention of the public and legislators. Change will only be accomplished by the nurses who are experiencing the problems, and hopefully by those that will support their co-workers.
  4. by   hollykate
    Hi there,
    Where I work, we do not have mandatory OT, nor are we actually allowed to work 16 hr days, except in an emergency, like when the hospital got snowed in last year. But they do not seem to mind if they call you to work OT, every day that you have off in a week. At least, though I always have the option to say Sorry. Agree with rncountry above me, for change to take place, action is required.
  5. by   McPeg
    Something concrete every nurse, their friends, and families can do right now today is to write to their congressmen to urge them to support Rep. Tom Lantos bill HR 5179 which would BAN MANDATORY OVERTIME for health care workers. I know I have personally experience an increase in the use of this method of addressing staffing shortages. I feel it will ultimately just send nurses down the fast track to burn out. Please write your congressmen today. Feel free to copy the letter below. WRITE TODAY! DON'T DELAY!
    Also get involved in the grassroots movement by nurses to raise public awareness to these issues. Visit www.allnurses.com/million.html

    Date: ____________

    Congressman_________________,

    I am a nurse working in a hospital. I am experiencing first hand the effect reductions in reimbursements by Medicare and insurance companies have had on hospitals nationwide. In their effort to adjust to these cutbacks, hospitals have restructured by reducing staff in all areas, including nursing. The result has been to create a work environment that is so stress filled and unrealistic in it's expectations, that the safety of patients and ability of the nurses delivering care, is now under scrutiny (Chicago Tribune, 9/10/2000).
    Nurses have tried to communicate the breakdown in the system to no avail.
    The response given to nurses has been: take it or leave it. Usually followed with the ominous warning: it's going to get worse! Nurses have chosen to leave their profession in droves, rather than risk their license and/or peace of mind, trying to function in such an environment. As a consequence we now have a critical shortage of nurses. The ANA
    (American Nurses Association) has recently labeled this shortage of nurses a "public
    health crisis."
    The stoic few who have chosen to stick it out in the frontlines of nursing are routinely subjected to inadequate staffing. The use of mandatory overtime is
    becoming the norm, sending more nurses down the fast track of burn out. If we
    ever hope to reverse the flight of nurses from the profession and increase the numbers
    choosing it as a profession, this vicious cycle must be broken.
    I urge you to support Rep Tom Lantos bill, HR 5179, to ban mandatory overtime for health care workers. I feel this is the first small step toward restoring nursing to the noble, rewarding, and desirable profession it once was.

    Sincerely,


    Register Voter

  6. by   burn nurse
    My nursing colleagues are currently on strike at a large Wash, DC hospital/ trauma center. Amongst our major issues is mandatory overtime. Despite what the media reports, we have conceded, voluntarily, the monetary portion of our proposal to below the hospital's proposal to prove that the money is not the issue. We believed that the issues of manditory O.T., a viable/ competetive weekend alternative program, RN to pt ratios, RN input on patient care commitees, and others would then be priority. They have not been addressed by management, to our satisfaction. Although manditory O.T. does not affect those on the burn ICU on a regular basis, when a crisis occurs....it does happen. Those RNs in our understaffed O.R. seem to be the most affected. I don't have exact figures, but the problem is extensive enough to cause 100% (to the best of my knowledge) of the O.R. RNs to withhold services. The hospital has chosen 5 units to receive 40% bonus in addition to 1.5x pay in their most recent proposal. I, & my colleagues interpret this to be a divide & conquer strategy. An RN is an RN regardless of his/her specialty. We have MASSIVE support from many other unions & the community on this & other issues. We believe a tired RN is an unsafe RN, as others do. We've rallied support from SEIU, AFL-CIO, AFT, Iron-workers, ANA, Doctors' council, and MANY others. In fact, the president of the AFL-CIO, John Sweeney, marched on our line Wednesday Oct. 11th. We, RNs, & other unionized people must stand united to address these issues that seem to be nationwide. Perhaps there can be a plan to share support amongst nurses' unions nationwide to address these issues w/ force & permanantly.
  7. by   sparrow
    I do not believe in mandatory overtime and would have to refuse to do it if my facility required it (which they don't). It is unsafe practice and unfair to both patients and nurses. I would not want to be cared for by the nurse who is in her 16 hour of manditory overtime in a week! She is tired, short tempered, worried about how her family is fairing, when she will see her husband for some quality time, and how she is going to get her many home chores done. SHE IS AN UNSAFE PRACTITIONER and if they wonder why medical and medication mistakes are occuring in such volumes, they need to take a good look at manditory OT. An idiot can tell them that over worked, tired nurses, who don't get their meal breaks or even get to empty their bladder when nature calls, are going to make mistakes! Unbelievable! And the dumb just get dumber!
  8. by   burn nurse
    How true...a tired nurse is an unsafe nurse. We are required to, & have stayed up to 20 hrs w/ a 4hr break. Portions of our previous contract contain a phrase, '...at managements discretion...'. This, essentially, is a 'blank check' to some extent. We have had numerous staff meetings & meetings w/ higher management throughout the past year (pre-strike) re: RN retention difficulties & increased number of incidents/ errors. Might as well have talked to the wall. Might be 1300 additional RNs to help quench the shortage when our strike is done. Unfortunately, 1300 will take our places only to experience the same issues. The 'scabs' have been in our places only 3 weeks & are rumored to be not tolerating the conditions....
  9. by   LLDPaRN
    At my facility they do have a "mandatory OT" policy but they only use it as a "last resort" (so they claim). One time earlier this year, we were short and they were threatening to mandate someone to stay--since they go alphabetically down the list of the staff already present, I was first on the list! Given that I didn't want to be forced to stay an extra 8 hours, I volunteered to stay 4, thus avoiding them having to mandate. I agree with the other posters that when you are tired, you are not an effective or safe nurse.

    Just my $.02 worth

    Laurie

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