Simulation and education| Volume 127, P26-30, June 2018

Impact of night shifts on emergency medicine resident resuscitation performance



      Emergency medicine (EM) trainees often work nightshifts. We sought to measure how this circadian disruption affects EM resident performance during simulated resuscitations.


      This retrospective cohort study enrolled EM residents at a single Canadian academic centre over a six-year period. Residents completed twice-annual simulation-based resuscitation-focused objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) with assessment in four domains (primary assessment, diagnostic actions, therapeutic actions and communication), and a global assessment score (GAS). Primary and secondary exposures of interest were the presence of a nightshift (late-evening shifts ending between midnight and 03h00 or overnight shifts ending after 06h00) the day before or within three days before an OSCE. A random effects linear regression model was used to quantify the association between nightshifts and OSCE scores.


      From 57 residents, 136 OSCE scores were collected. Working a nightshift the day before an OSCE did not affect male trainee scores but was associated with a significant absolute decrease in mean total scores (−6% [95% CI −12% to 0%]), GAS (−7% [−13% to 0%]), and communication (−9% [−16% to −2%]) scores among women. Working any nightshift within three days before an OSCE lowered absolute mean total scores by 4% [−7% to 0%] and communication scores by 5% [−5% to 0%] irrespective of gender.


      Our results suggest that shift work may impact EM resident resuscitation performance, particularly in the communication domain. This impact may be more significant in women than men, suggesting a need for further investigation.


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