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Multiple Jobs Add to Nurse Fatigue



Nurses seeking higher incomes are working multiple jobs, which leads to fatigue and puts patient safety at risk. Should state nursing boards step in?



5 comments on "Multiple Jobs Add to Nurse Fatigue"
Jennifer Fox (2/18/2014 at 10:18 PM)

If a nurse cannot live on the meager income received with just one job while going to school and supporting a family, then perhaps that is the wrong field to pursue in the first place. Many nurses are trying to move out of the quagmire of all work no pay that nursing offers. There are plenty of well paying jobs with regular raises, advancement and educational assistance that would not require a second income in order to live a far better existence. Informed school counselors could curb a lot of the problem of students going into a field that looks much greener and friendlier than it is. Since there is no chance of increasing pay, improving working conditions or staffing appropriately for safe patient care, nipping the problem in the bud seems reasonable.
Andrea Sehmel (2/5/2014 at 2:08 PM)

I would say that nurses could benefit from financial counseling; it's definitely not part of our education - it's assumed that we absorb it somewhere, and that's not necessarily the case. It's like cutting out salt for a hypertensive patient, though, it's a hard habit to change - the long-term effects are not sufficiently tangible now. Further, pay for nursing educators has to change - I took on a teaching position after a back injury made direct patient care an impossibility... with a 60% pay cut. State nurse professional organizations could offer financial counseling for nurses. State legislatures need to significantly improve educator pay, or face dire shortages.
Judy Sheehan (2/3/2014 at 4:46 PM)

I have noticed many nurses who work part time because that is what is available at their place of employment. If employers hire nurses as part-time employees to reduce expense and avoid the cost of benefits then you would expect nurses to hold more than one job. Nurses should be held accountable for practicing in any impaired state. It is understanding that fatigue causes impairment that must be incorporated into the nursing profession.
katie (1/31/2014 at 10:01 AM)

The hospital I work at in Buffalo New York will not allow you to work another job unless you file a form with the HR department and then the legal department signs off for an approval. If you work another job, not even a nursing job, but as a cashier or store worker or even as a non paid job (Meals on Wheels) you can be fired for not notifying HR. This has been the policy for several years and I have often wondered if this is actually legal.
Mary K Parker (1/30/2014 at 1:13 PM)

I am a military nurse and we are required to complete a "moonlighting" request. We are limited on the number of hours we can moonlight in addition to our regular full-time positions (generally 20 hours per week). I have worked 12-hour shifts and 8 hours shifts. I much prefer 8 hours[INVALID]-it flies by and I feel really productive. I also am able to get things done at home on those days, too. That doesn't happen on 12-hour shifts: it gives me enough time to eat a bowl of cereal and fall into bed only to start the routine all over again the next day.