We applaud McLelland et al.'s national survey of the effects of fatigue on trainees in anaesthesia in the UK , in which they found night shifts to be the most significant reason for prevalent fatigue. Reasons attributed by trainees included absence of breaks and inadequate facilities for rest during night shifts.Trainees often express anxiety about out‐of‐hours working and night shifts. Thirteen out of 31 foundation doctors we asked at our hospital about introducing compulsory night shift shadowing as part of the undergraduate curriculum felt unprepared for their first night shift when starting their first foundation post. Thirty out of 31 thought night shifts were more difficult than working within daytime hours, with less senior cover, fewer available staff and greater individual responsibility cited as key factors for this perceived difficulty, and that a greater focus on night shift work at undergraduate level would better prepare them for the transition to junior doctor.Although medical students take part in night shift work in the UK, it is often not a compulsory part of their training. Increasing student work out‐of‐hours is not a new idea, with previous studies finding that night shifts offer significant learning opportunities, particularly in managing acute situations, which can help prepare senior medical students for clinical practice . Our small poll of foundation trainees support McClelland et al.'s findings, and suggest that greater emphasis on undergraduate learning out‐of‐hours may improve some of the concerns often cited by trainees about these shifts.ReferencesMcClelland L, Holland J, Lomas JP, Redfern N, Plunkett E. A national survey of the effects of fatigue on trainees in anaesthesia in the UK. Anaesthesia 2017; 72: 1069–77.Farquhar M. For nature cannot be fooled. Why we need to talk about fatigue. Anaesthesia 2017; 72: 1055–8.Goren EN, Leizman DS, La Rochelle J, Kogan JR. Overnight hospital experiences for medical students: results of the 2014 clerkship directors in internal medicine national survey. Journal of General Internal Medicine 2015; 30: 1245–50.England AJ, Jenkins BJ. Time spent in the clinical environment is the most important aspect of medical education ‐ we need to protect it. Anaesthesia 2017; 72: 1306–11.
Anaesthesia – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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