Mandatory Overtime, Nurse Fatigue, & Medical Errors-Ohio Nurses Fight Back!

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Can an employer threaten or intimidate you for refusing overtime? 

Ohio Mandatory Overtime Infographic

On paper that should absolutely not be the case, however, nurses in Ohio are living out the opposite. According to Ohio Nurses Association (ONA), nurses are routinely threatened by their employers if they turn down any overtime hours. Not only are nurses threatened, they are guilted into taking the overtime with threats of patient abandonment charges which is an infraction that leaves them vulnerable to medical malpractice lawsuits or forfeiting their license. However, Ohio nurses no longer want to live under this fear and on May 24, 2017, a large number of nurses joined together in protest of this widespread use of mandatory overtime in the state. A multitude of professional caregivers gathered in the atrium of Buckeye State’s Columbus statehouse, all in unison demanding legal changes be made that would provide nurses a greater voice in staffing assignments.

Nurse Fatigue Statistics Infographic

The nurses have every right to fight over this mandatory overtime because if they don’t it will only get worse. As it stands many nurses work shifts that are 12.5 hours or more. This is not only exhausting but, dangerous because it increases the risk of medical errors by 300%. Below is an infographic that explains the exact stats and risks these Ohio nurses are fighting against when it comes to mandatory overtime.

Author Bio:

Tim Becker Partner at Minneapolis’ Johnson // Becker PLLC, and lead sponsor of He is committed to providing clients effective, aggressive legal representation, and has prosecuted numerous individual FLSA violation claims.

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4 Responses to Mandatory Overtime, Nurse Fatigue, & Medical Errors-Ohio Nurses Fight Back!

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is crazy i hope things change good luck Ohio nurses from Kansas

  2. Dallas Piana says:

    so what was the end result of their protest…..?

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is a great article to spread awareness of what employers are demanding of their nurses. Mental exhaustion and fatigue leads to dangerous mistakes.Simple enough to understand. Nurses know better than anyone what is best for patients and a nurse can’t provide the care that every patient deserves if they do not get the correct amount of rest and balance for themselves. Quality nursing care leads to quicker healing and recovery for patients.

  4. This is such an important article, Tim. Thank you for writing it and thanks to the Ohio nurses who are standing up against mandatory overtime. They are a wonderful example of using collective power in a constructive way.

    I’d also like to add that one of the reasons I am so obsessed with spreading the word about Medical Improv is that it can help nurses become more aware of their limits, respect limits they have as well as those of colleagues, increase ability to ask for, offer, or even refuse to help. These “soft” skills are fundamental for providing safe care and optimal patient experience while sustaining work-life balance and healthy careers.

What are your thoughts?