CASE STUDY: Working Overtime for Our Nurses

Nurses.jpgFor years, Pennsylvania’s nurses were often forced to work shift after shift, mandatory overtime with no opportunity to opt out. Turnover in the industry increased, and many decided to quit the field altogether. Patient safety became a very real concern, as health care professionals at the end of a 20-hour shift can be a real threat, not only to the safety and well-being of the patients they serve, but also to themselves.

For the better part of a decade, the state’s largest health care union went on a campaign to ban the practice of forcing mandatory overtime on nurses. After multiple near misses and a series of fits and starts, Triad came in to assist its strategic partner and the health care union.

At the end of 2008, the finish line was in sight. But as is often the case, late hurdles arose, threatening the bill’s final passage. Triad’s senior associates immediately reached out to key legislative leaders and administration officials, ultimately helping to hold a fragile deal together.

On the final day of the 2007-2008 Session, the bill passed, and days later, Governor Ed Rendell affixed his signature.

As 2009 dawns, Pennsylvania’s health care professionals will no longer have to worry about being forced to spend time away from their loved ones, working unreasonable hours that tax them both mentally and physically. And that is good news for every Pennsylvanian.