Mandating overtime and patient safety
All hospitals have occasional nursing shortages stemming from unexpected census peaks, unfilled nursing vacancies, personal time off, or leaves of absence.
As a short-term solution to this problem, they commonly have staff nurses work overtime.
But the Fair Labor Standards Act doesn’t set any limit on how many hours an employee can work in a week, and most employers are well within their legal rights requiring employees to work overtime.
America is facing a nursing shortage, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
As the Baby Boomer generation ages, an unprecedented number of patients have entered the health-care system.
No longer will nurses be burdened with exhaustion and the accompanying worry of making a mistake,” stated Eric Williams, President of the Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association, a local union of the Ohio Nurses Association who represents the nurses at CHS-Northside.
“And soon, members of the community will no longer have to worry if they will receive the proper care and attention they deserve because of CHS-Northside running a skeleton crew of nurses who are worked around the clock.” Many studies have looked at the relation between nurses’ hours worked and the effect on patient care.