Impact of night shifts on emergency medicine resident resuscitation performance Academic Article uri icon

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


  • Edgerley, Sarah
  • McKaigney, Conor
  • Boyne, Devon
  • Ginsberg, Darrell
  • Dagnone, J Damon
  • Hall, Andrew K

publication date

  • June 2018