Nurses push for end to mandatory overtime in Ohio

 

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Sixty-three percent of Ohio nurses say they’ve worked an excessive amount of overtime at least once per month.

The Ohio Nurses Association is asking state legislators to develop a bill that would drive safe staffing.

Nurses are demanding change when it comes to mandatory overtime. The nurses say working 16-hour shifts puts their patients’ care at risk.

“If we had shortages or if he had a very critical patient that needed one on one care we cannot move to the ICU. I could not have a staffing nurse pulled out of the staffing to do that,” said nurse JoyLynn Daniels.

Daniels’ story is similar to many nurses. Shedding light on the stress nurses are put under every day, overworked and understaffed.

According to the Nurses Association, patients are put at risk because hospitals force nurses to work mandatory overtime. Often 20 or 24-hour shifts

“We know fatigue is directly related to preventable medical errors. This ultimately impacts the safety of patients,” said CEO of Ohio Nurses Association, Laurie Chovnak.

In 2008 a bill was passed to require hospital committees to produce a nursing staff plan.

Now, legislators say more needs to be done.

“At the end of the day I think everybody shares this interest in making sure patients are safe,” says Rep. Robert Sprague.

Sprague introduced a bill that would not require a nurse to work mandatory overtime.

“We have 197,000 nurses in Ohio and it’s really important that we get our stories across because I just want the best care for our patients,” said Sally Morgan, president of the Ohio nurses association.

If this bill were to pass Ohio would be the 19th state to make mandatory overtime illegal.

 

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