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Home > List Archives

Long working hours

Camille and Matt trauma-list@trauma.org
Thu, 20 Jun 2002 08:32:40 +0930


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Hi All,
I have read with interest the debate about medical students/doctors =
working long hours and the views of various people. I thinl it is very =
interesting that Occ health and Safety has not been mentioned once. =
Where do your hospitals stans when the medical practitioner who is sleep =
deprived runs a red light and takes out a family on thier way to school? =
Is it the individuals fault? or is it the fault of a system that expects =
long hours. Remember it has been stated that there are checks and =
balances to ensure that patient care is not compromised, but what =
happens when the tired doctor steps out of the hospital for the drive =
home?
For the nurses out there. In remote practice where I work we often work =
long hours without support and without medical 'supervision'. Recently =
one of my peers had worked two days with only two hours sleep. They rang =
our management to advise them that they were unfit for duty and was =
promptly told by management that "this is what you are paid for" and to =
go back to work. The question is should management force an employee who =
states they are unfit for duty to go to work, given that they are unfit =
for duty due to work not recreation. What are the responsibilities of =
the health professional who feels that they are unfit for duty? Does =
duty of care to the patients come before their responsibility to the =
employer? What about their responsibility to their proffession and to =
themselves?
Cheers Matt Mason
Remote Nurse
Central Australia

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<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Hi All,</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>I have read with interest the debate =
about medical=20
students/doctors working long hours and the views of various people. I =
thinl it=20
is very interesting that Occ health and Safety has not been mentioned =
once.=20
Where do your hospitals stans when the medical practitioner who is sleep =

deprived runs a red light and takes out a family on thier way to school? =
Is it=20
the individuals fault? or is it the fault of a system that expects long =
hours.=20
Remember it has been stated that there are checks and balances to ensure =
that=20
patient care is not compromised, but what happens when the tired doctor =
steps=20
out of the hospital for the drive home?</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>For the nurses out there.&nbsp;In =
remote practice=20
where I work we often work long hours without support and without =
medical=20
'supervision'. Recently one of my peers had worked two days with only =
two hours=20
sleep. They rang our management to advise them that they were unfit for =
duty and=20
was promptly told by management that "this is what you are paid for" and =
to go=20
back to work. The question is should management force an employee who =
states=20
they are unfit for duty to go to work, given that they are unfit for =
duty due to=20
work not recreation. What are the responsibilities of the health =
professional=20
who feels that they are unfit for duty? Does duty of care to the =
patients come=20
before their responsibility to the employer? What about their =
responsibility to=20
their proffession and to themselves?</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Cheers Matt Mason</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Remote Nurse</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Central =
Australia</FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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