Issues of Fatigue in Medical Residents Essay

Issues of Fatigue in Medical Residents Essay

Length: 2028 words (5.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

How would you feel if you knew that the doctor inserting the stent in your heart was on the 24th hour of his shift? Understandably so, most likely worried. Thoughts going through your head would definitely include what would happen if this doctor fell asleep or inadvertently caused a severe injury as a result of drowsiness. Unfortunately, these are realities that all patients who are treated in teaching hospitals face. Medical residents often work unimaginably long shifts, sometimes exceeding 24 hours. Levels of fatigue by the end of these work periods have contributed to accidental injuries and deaths; it is no secret that humans make more errors when they are tired (Bates). Why not just limit shifts to a standard eight- or twelve-hour day? Continuity of care. This concept has caused physicians to widely believe that they are immune to the symptoms of fatigue. Only recently has the medical community begun to implement some work hour restrictions. While continuity of care is definitely important to patient safety and equally as important to teaching medical residents, the potential rewards do not justify the inevitable risks. Fatigue in medical residents is a serious issue and a cause of worry to patients worldwide.
Fatigue and sleepiness is a concern both in and out of the medical field. Humans who work at night often experience disruptions of circadian rhythms. Working for extended periods of time can cause degradation of memory, inattentiveness, and poor coordination. Recently, an oil tanker ran aground near Rhode Island while being piloted by a captain who had not slept within 36 hours. In Pedro, Wyo, an engineer and brakeman on a train fell asleep and plowed into another train (Moore-Ede). These conditions ...


... middle of paper ...


...epressant phenelzine. Later, the resident ordered meperidine, a drug that should not be taken in conjunction with phenelzine. Shortly after, Zion experienced respiratory failure and passed away. The incident led to an investigation, and the grand jury found that the resident had been working for more than 22 ours at the time the medication was ordered. The report cited “medically deficient care” and described the residency system as a whole as “counterproductive to providing quality medical care” (“Medical Resident Fatigue”). Regulations have gotten stricter since 1984, but residents still often work shifts in excess of 22 hours. Therefore, the work hour restrictions that the ACGME recently put into place still need to be studied and revised to provide residents with ample time to rest and recover during long shifts in order to properly ensure patient safety.


Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Ethical Issues Between Duties Of Care Vs. Autonomy Of Dementia Residents Living

- As nurses we owe a duty of care to our patients regardless of their race, status and age. In all our working life, we have to conduct our self in a way that is considered reasonable for someone in our position to do so. Reasonable conduct may be thought of as that which is acceptable, fair, honest, right and proper. However, this duty of care is questioned when it comes to dealing with preserving the autonomy of a person who is suffering from dementia in a nursing home. This research paper will focus on the ethical issues between duties of care vs....   [tags: Nursing, Ethics, The Residents, Geriatrics]

Powerful Essays
1016 words (2.9 pages)

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Nervous System Involvement Essay

- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Nervous System Involvement Upon concluding my neurobiology course, I spent some time reflecting on what I've learned about the nervous system and its functions. I thought about how much progress has been made in the last couple of decades alone in defining and understanding certain aspects of neuronal functions, and must admit that I am very impressed. However, there is still so much we don't know about this area, and nowhere has this notion proved more true than in my exploration of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome....   [tags: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Medical Essays]

Free Essays
1158 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on Professional Issues Of A Medical Professional

- ... Professionalism is important in the relationship between doctors and nurses, as well as doctor/physician and Medical Laboratory Scientists. Furthermore, it is very important when it comes to communication between healthcare practitioners and a patient 's. Professionals who display professionalism will be able to gain the trust and confidence of their patients. Medical Laboratory Science should display professionalism in their writing skills. Communication is a very important skill in every career or profession....   [tags: Medicine, Health care, Medical laboratory]

Powerful Essays
1281 words (3.7 pages)

Fatigue in Materials and The Factors Which Influence Fatigue Essay

- Introduction: In materials science , uses loads of fatigue caused by the weakness of material over and over again . This is a gradual localized structural damage that occurs when the material is exposed to cyclic loading . Stressvalues maximum value that caused this damage could be much less than the tensile strength of the material usually as surface tension , reduce or restrict the effort described below. For the following reasons : Fatigue happens when you download the materials and discharged several times....   [tags: Metal Fatigue]

Powerful Essays
1120 words (3.2 pages)

Burn Out and Fatigue in the Work Related Environment Essay

- Forming an understanding of fatigue and burnout on the job of delivering commodities cross-country is the focus herein. The discoveries from research conducted on fatigue have provided insight into additional concerns regarding the health of humanity. The process and development of how fatigue relates to the personal self when working under conditions of exertion are very important. When driving over-the-road (OTR) cross-country under a tight delivery schedule period I had stressful experiences....   [tags: fatigue, stress, relaxation]

Powerful Essays
1326 words (3.8 pages)

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome As A Medical Issue Essay

- Chronic fatigue syndrome has become a medical issue because of its status as a contested disorder. No existing medical tools can pinpoint the biological cause for the ailment (Richmann, Jason, Taylor and Jahn 2000). Consequently, the illness is attributed to psychosocial causes rather than biological causes. That being said, chronic fatigue syndrome can be explained through the social constructionist perspective because the social meaning attached to the illness influences the label of diagnosis....   [tags: Mental disorder, Psychiatry, Medicine]

Powerful Essays
1606 words (4.6 pages)

Essay about Medical Marijuana Ethical Issues

- The process by which society detects and interprets information from the external world in a utilitarian theory claims: one should always do the greatest good for the greatest number of people. When one has the motivation to reach goals for the benefit of one’s self it is known as ethical egoism. In this paper we shall consider a brief history of cannabis, the parallels of legalizing medical marijuana and prohibition of alcohol in the 1920’s with regard to ethical egoism and utilitarian theories....   [tags: medicine, medical drugs]

Powerful Essays
1918 words (5.5 pages)

Medical Issues Essay

- Globally, the fact that I have never attended a child's funeral is an anomaly: In 1990 more than one in ten children in the world died before the age of 5, however about 90% of Americans survived to their 50th birthday. While we have moved towards closing that gap, these statistics still mark a gross disparity. People debate our obligation to provide medical care globally to those who cannot afford it, but most of the world's medicals need are shockingly inexpensive. To me, there is no debate: it takes only pennies worth of clean water and re-hydration salts to prevent an individual from dying of diarrhea, the second leading killer of children, and we, as global citizens, have a moral obliga...   [tags: Medicine]

Powerful Essays
1154 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on Pilot Fatigue

- Fatigue is a growing concern and issue in the aviation industry. Although it has been for some time, recently mounting workloads and stress have factored into creating an escalating problem with real casualties and repercussions. “Pilot fatigue, heavy workloads… may have contributed to an air ambulance crashing into the sea at night during a medical mission…” (Crash Blamed 2006 p.31). Fatigue is an “insidious” condition that affects a pilot in a way that might make him feel justified in his decisions....   [tags: Aviation ]

Powerful Essays
1123 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Thankfully, it is hard for most people to imagine a tiredness and weakness of body that would keep one confined to a bed. There are people today who have lived a very active lifestyle for years and have suddenly found themselves burdened by a feeling of bodily weariness they never knew was possible. It all happens so swiftly and surprisingly that many are terrified by these changes taking place. CFS, otherwise known as chronic fatigue syndrome, is this illness characterized by debilitating fatigue....   [tags: Tired Medical Papers]

Powerful Essays
1921 words (5.5 pages)