Healthcare News & Insights

‘If I don’t get a break, someone could die’

A nurses’ group just filed lawsuits against four hospitals, claiming their practices of cutting nurses’ breaks short are endangering nurses and patients. The Washington State Nurses Association says research shows that long hours and related fatigue increase the risk of medical errors and reduced quality of patient care.

The suits claim that Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, Tacoma General Hospital, Evergreen Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue and Holy Family Hospital in Spokane don’t pay nurses the wages required when a missed rest break pushes a nurse into overtime hours, and fail to keep accurate records on missed breaks.

The lawsuits seek back pay owed to the nurses as well as improved record keeping practices for missed rest breaks.

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  1. al yearty says:

    This could be easily tracked by having them punch out for break. Also the long 10-12 hour shifts are probably partly to blame I know at our facility many nurses work three 12 hour shifts in a row so they can work somewhere else, maybe there should be a restriction on number of hours they can work-sort a like cytologist and number of slides they can read in a day. Or maybe nurses just get fatigued easier in Washington