What can Nurses do to stop Mandatory Overtime?

  1. Hi all,

    I'm doing a short EBP practice powerpoint presentation on Mandatory Overtime as a patient safety issue. Right now I am looking at:

    1." What can we do as Nurses to help stop MOT?"

    2. "How do we Implement and assess our plan?"

    3. "What outcome do we hope to see with our implementation of this plan?

    After reading this article from the American Nurse Today, I came up with this list of things I thought that Nurses can do to stop MOT.

    Stopping the vicious cycle of mandatory overtime - American Nurse Today

    • Push for Magnet status because nurse retention rates are linked to less staffing issues.
    • Join your state nurse association, get informed on your state law, work with them for change.
    • Raise awareness: With other nurses, nursing students, state reps, family, friends, and communities.
    • Make sure to decline working if you know you are too fatigued.
    • Fight to have proper staffing ratios so OT isn't relied upon so heavily.
    • Implement voluntary OT with some guidelines to prevent working when fatigued.
    • Longterm solutions like proper recruiting, implementing new graduate nursing programs or residency programs, investing in new nurses leads to long-term retention rates.
    • Implement Direct Education Unit programs with nursing schools to have nurses work one-on-one with a student for their entire shift and entire patient load, have that same nurse assigned to one student longterm like a preceptorship. This allows the nurse to train the student to be more efficient and the student will learn the nurse's style, needs and be able to better anticipate what the nurse and her patient's needs. This leads to student nurses being a more effective low-cost resource for direct nursing care and gets rid of the problems associated with the disjointed Clinical group approach.
    • The IOM recommends public reporting of Nurse-patient ratios and turnover rates, nurses should get behind this and help make this the new normal.

    What are your thoughts, do you have anything to add?
  2. Poll: Does your facility require mandatory overtime?

    • Yes

      11.11% 1
    • No

      55.56% 5
    • Sometimes, (e.g. during cold & flu season)

      11.11% 1
    • Only during emergency/ catastrophic events.

      22.22% 2
    • Other

      0% 0
    9 Votes
  3. 2 Comments

  4. by   Here.I.Stand
    For myself, I ask during a job interview "Under what circumstances does your facility mandate OT?" The correct answer is "We don't," although I will also accept something to the effect of "only in official state of emergency." If they use it for routine staffing holes such as with sick calls, I thank them for their time and conclude the interview.

    My state actually has a law that says we can't be penalized for refusing, If we feel we are unable to provide safe care. Invoking this law is my backup plan -- regardless of the true reason I don't want OT. It could be that I am expected at home, or that my kids have school in the morning, I'm tired, or simply because staffing holes are NOT my problem... But the official/verbalized reason is "I am too fatigued to provide safe care."

    If your state has no law, it needs one.

    Members of nursing unions should also get that written into their contract, if it's not there already.

    I have worked exactly ONE MOT shift in the past 14 years. It was during a blizzard -- conditions were so poor that the staff who tried to come to work, got stuck in the snow. I didn't mind actually... I would have just as easily gotten stuck on my way home had I tried to leave anyway. The kitchen provided us with a meal (the same coconut shrimp and veggies that the residents were served), and our supervisor gave us each a $25 Starbucks card for our trouble.

    But covering for sick calls? Heck no. It is not new information that nurses get sick, and I expect management to have a plan in place. One that does not involve detaining me.
  5. by   mso819
    this was insightful! i didnt eben realize mandatory overtime was still in practice. im going to definitely read about this.

    As long as i suck air, i will never work anither job that does mandatory overtime.