2018 Volume 5, Issue 4, p240-248
Determine differences between faculty, residents, and nurses regarding night shift preparation, performance, recovery, and perception of emotional and physical health effects.
Survey study performed at an urban university medical center emergency department with an accredited residency program in emergency medicine.
Forty-seven faculty, 37 residents, and 90 nurses completed the survey. There was no difference in use of physical sleep aids between groups, except nurses utilized blackout curtains more (69%) than residents (60%) and faculty (45%). Bedroom temperature preference was similar. The routine use of pharmacologic sleep aids differed: nurses and residents (both 38%) compared to faculty (13%). Residents routinely used melatonin more (79%) than did faculty (33%) and nurses (38%). Faculty preferred not to eat (45%), whereas residents (24%) preferred a full meal. The majority (>72%) in all groups drank coffee before their night shift and reported feeling tired despite their routine, with 4:00 a.m. as median nadir. Faculty reported a higher rate (41%) of falling asleep while driving compared to residents (14%) and nurses (32%), but the accident rate (3% to 6%) did not differ significantly. All had similar opinions regarding night shift-associated health effects. However, faculty reported lower level of satisfaction working night shifts, whereas nurses agreed less than the other groups regarding increased risk of drug and alcohol dependence.
Faculty, residents, and nurses shared many characteristics. Faculty tended to not use pharmacologic sleep aids, not eat before their shift, fall asleep at a higher rate while driving home, and enjoy night shift work less.
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