Presentation Authors: Reuven Ben-David*, Ziv Savin, Ofer Yossepowitch, Mario Sofer, Tek-Aviv, Israel
Introduction: To the best of our knowledge the physical effort of a resident during a working shift has not been systematically assessed yet. Today, smartphones are widely used for better communication and improved availability of personnel in medical institutions. They have a built-in pedometer capable of counting the number of steps taken by its user. We used this technology to evaluate the number of steps that residents walk during a routine shift as an indicator of physical effort.
Methods: The study comprised 69 volunteers (27 females and 42 males) who were residents in 15 medical fields in a 1,300-bed university-affiliated tertiary referral center between January-June, 2018. A â€œshiftâ€ was defined as 26 hours of a regular working day followed by being inhouse on call overnight. Pedometric counts were collected by random, without informing the residents in advance. Data on the residentsâ€™ demographics (age, gender), seniority, consultation in the emergency room (ER), variations associated with the requirements of medical specialities, and weekday vs weekend shifts were collected and underwent statistical analysis. The number of steps was converted into kilometers by a rate of 1,300 steps = 1 km.
Results: An average of 9 analyses per department were performed, and one-quarter of them took place during weekends. The overall average distance covered by a resident per shift was 9.04 km. Distances by profession are displayed in the graph. The longest distances were covered by orthopedists (11.2 km), neurologists/neurosurgeons (11 km), and urologists (10.7 km). When comparing by ER shift general surgery residents walked significantly more than residents in gynecology (10.3 vs 8.7 km, p < 0.01) and internal medicine (10.3 vs 8.4 km, p < 0.01). There were no statistical differences in gender, seniority, or day of the week.
Conclusions: Smartphones provide a simple way to assess distances covered by residents during their work as an indicator of physical effort. This tool can be used for evaluating physical exertion of residents and needs for human resources per professions, as well as for informing medical students when choosing a residency program. Additional studies that include assessment of physiological reactions to stress (e.g., blood pressure, pulse rate, etc.) are warranted to complete the picture of the physical demands of residents in the hospital setting.