Thursday, June 24, 2010

Study Shows Limiting Surgical Training Hours May Hurt, Not Improve Care

A study conducted in a Swiss hospital shows that most residents and surgical supervisors believe that limiting surgical training hours has a negative effect on training and performance. In Switzerland, residents are limited to 50 hour workweeks. In the US, residents have been capped at 80 hours a week since 2003.

Limiting surgical residents' working hours has been a recent strategy used to increase safety. It is believed that limiting hours decreases the likelihood that medical errors will be made by a tired resident. Respondents in the Swiss study stated that while their quality of life increased with less work hours, they felt that they did not have the adequate time to learn necessary skills and build endurance for long surgeries.

The study did not take into account whether or not nurses and patients perceived a lower quality of care.

Sources: Health Care Advisory Board, Medpage Today

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