"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, June 12, 2008

To Mandate Nursing Overtime Or Not

The legislative session in Albany is winding down with only a few days to go, but they still have some issues before they slide out onto the campaign trail.

In a typical "hey hey ho ho... (insert issue here)...has to go" rally on the Capital on Tuesday legislators addressed nurses on the issue of mandatory overtime imposed on them by health care facilities.

Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno acknowledged there is negotiating going on between the Senate, Assembly and Governor to eliminate mandatory overtime.

The measure would be pro union legislation that health care institutions will adamantly oppose. They oppose it on the basis of a couple of reasons; mandatory overtime is only a very small portion of the the overtime worked and patient safety due to a nursing shortage.

The dilemma is the actual solution to the nursing shortage will take money and that is a scarce resource in Albany these days. Investing in nursing education jointly by the state and health care institutions will provide people necessary to reduce the shortage of nurses.

What exacerbates the problem is mandatory overtime keeps nurses from working in institutional settings in order to avoid being forced to work overtime.

It is reported a deal on mandatory overtime could be reached this session, but in the event a deal is not reached, this will be another topic to add to the column of issues the candidates in the 118th Assembly and 48th Senate District will have to show leadership on with ideas.

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