I am a Nurse and my Employer is Requiring Nurses to Work Overtime at my Hospital. What if I Feel I am too Tired to Safely Provide Care?
By Barbara Forshier on September 6th, 2022 in
If your hospital is requiring nurses to work overtime, yet you are exhausted, you are in a difficult situation. No nurse wants to leave their patients or co-workers short-staffed, yet you fear falling asleep or not being able to think or act competently due to your physical or mental state. Under the Nurse Practice Act, you have a duty to provide safe care. Minnesota Law under Minn. Stat. 181.275 only provides that a nurse will not be disciplined by an employer when the “nurse” determines that continuing to work consecutive hours may jeopardize patient safety. (The nurse and only the nurse determines whether continuing to work may jeopardize patient safety). However, a nurse cannot abandon a patient assignment if no one shows up to take over. Additionally, this only applies to nurses who work in hospitals and certain other designated work sites, not nursing homes, long term care. Additionally, a nurse may be kept on for overtime in the event of an emergency as defined in the statute.
In the event this happens, always follow the chain of command and report in writing how you are feeling to your supervisor. Ask the supervisor to sign what you have written in the event you must stay to work consecutive hours after your shift. Keep all documentation and emails related to the incident and continue to follow through until you have a safe resolution to the issue.
I Just Received Allegations From my Licensing Board, but the Truth is I’m Overworked. How Should I Respond?
Barb Forshier of Forshier Law understands your situation and the stress you’re likely under as an overworked nurse. This is one of the situations in which having a Woodbury nursing license lawyer is extremely helpful. Healthcare facilities are notorious for overworking nurses and then washing their hands of the situation when those same nurses come under fire for their conduct. As a nurse, Barb Forshier has seen how facilities can take advantage of nurses and fail to protect them when facility protocols land them in hot water. We believe strongly in helping overworked nurses protect their careers and licenses.
Before you speak to the licensing board about your current work conditions and how they have contributed to the allegations made against you, get in touch with a nurse defense lawyer. If there are complaints about one area of your practice, it’s likely that there are other issues with your work habits that have arisen because of your poor work conditions. Talking about these issues without the help of an attorney could further implicate you, lead to more serious discipline from the licensing board, and put your license at risk.
If your workplace is working nurses ragged, requiring them to work in unsafe conditions, requiring nurses to work overtime, or forcing them to take shortcuts to keep up with their workload, they must be held accountable for that. Your nursing lawyer can work to deflect the blame from you, prove that you are a good nurse in a bad situation, and draw attention to the work conditions at your place of employment.