Working overtime among nurses is a prevalent practice used to control chronic understaffing and a common method used to handle normal variations in the patient census. The underlining mechanism of the relationship of nurse overtime to nurse injuries and adverse patient events is that when nurses work overtime or long hours, it contributes to nurses' fatigue and sleep so their alertness and vigilance are impaired in both their regular shift and overtime shift. The associations between mandatory overtime regulations and nurse and patient outcomes were examined among a sample of 173 nurses in North Carolina and West Virginia. Findings indicated mandatory nurse overtime regulation did not have any association with nurse injuries. There were statistically significant associations found between the regulations and adverse patient events. However, these associations should be interpreted with caution because the regulations were not related to nurse overtime or long work hours.
|State||Published - Mar 2013|