Mandatory Overtime in Nursing
An examination of the stress on nurses being forced to work overtime and how this affects their caregiving.
The writers shows that mandatory overtime can be a source of stress for the nurses in all aspects of their lives. It examines how this escalating crisis is affecting nurses’ physical health and how their overworked, overtired and burned out bodies are really having an impact on the way they care for patients.
This problem is best explained starting with how it affects the nurse physically. These problems mainly consist of prolonged exposure to hazards, fatigue and stress. Longer shifts mean that nurses spend more time being exposed to the risks of chemical exposure, infectious agents, and injury (Worthington, 2001). Biohazards and chronic injuries also exist, They complain of back injuries and risky accidents with contaminated needles (2001). Nurses are in the business of making decisions that can affect whether a patient lives or dies. Nurses are also expected to care for themselves during these times. This includes transportation to and from work. There are few statistics on the number of car accidents related to fatigue from having to work extended hours because fatalities that occur while driving home after double shifts are not counted as workplace fatalities (2001). Stress can also have a profound effect on the body making nurses prone to having poor physical condition.”