Nurses' Overtime Can Negatively Affect Collaborative Practice

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Findings tied to both frequency of overtime and length of overtime hours in acute care setting
Findings tied to both frequency of overtime and length of overtime hours in acute care setting

HealthDay News — Working overtime may negatively influence nurses' collaboration with other health care providers in the acute care setting, according to a study published online May 4 in the Journal of Nursing Administration.

Chenjuan Ma, PhD, and Amy Witkoski Stimpfel, PhD, RN, both from the Rory Meyers College of Nursing at New York University in New York City, assessed nurse shift patterns (e.g., shift length and overtime) and collaboration of nurses with other health care providers using data from 957 units in 168 acute care hospitals participating in the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators.

Among the nurses studied, the researchers found that both working overtime and longer overtime hours were associated with lower collaboration at the unit level. However, no association was seen between shift length and collaboration.

"Our findings support policies that limit the amount of overtime worked by nurses," Ma said in a statement. "In practice, nurse managers should monitor the amount of overtime being worked on their unit and minimize the use of overtime."

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