Mandating overtime and patient safety

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OVERVIEW: Mandatory overtime is an issue faced by many medical-surgical nurses across the nation.

But chronic use of overtime can jeopardize the quality and safety of patient care.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.A regularly scheduled day-shift nurse is rotated to work the evening shift.Towards the end of that evening shift she is then mandated to work the full night shift for a total of 16 hours straight.

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