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ICEM: Long Shift Walks Linked to Residents' Fatigue

Miles walked while working independently linked to perceived on-the-job stress

FRIDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Among emergency residents, perceived stress is independently associated with miles walked during a shift, according to research presented this week at the 12th International Conference on Emergency Medicine in San Francisco.

Nicole Colucci, of the Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago, and colleagues studied 11 senior emergency residents from a single emergency medicine residency program who wore pedometers and kept a detailed log for three consecutive 10-hour shifts.

The researchers found that residents walked an average of 2.64 miles per shift and that 30 procedures were performed during 14 of the 33 shifts with an average time of 24 minutes per procedure. They also found a significant correlation between perceived stress and miles walked.

"Most studies and discussions focus on the number of work hours as the etiology of emergency medicine resident physician fatigue," the authors write. "However, other factors such as stress levels during a shift, number of patients seen, and procedures performed in the emergency department may be as important. This study investigates the role a physical determinant, such as miles walked while working, has on perceived stress and fatigue at the end of a shift."

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