Sleep-deprived residents can still master surgery
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 26, 2004
There are plenty of studies that measure the negative impact of sleep deprivation. The latest look at how sleep impacts learning, however, runs counter to this trend.
Researchers at Pennsylvania's Temple University School of Medicine found that the demanding schedules of surgical residents don't necessarily leave them too sleep deprived to learn.
A study published in the June Surgical Endoscopy found that short-term sleep deficits do not appear to hinder the acquisition of basic laparoscopic skills.
The study looked at 40 residents participating in surgical skills training in Temple's surgical training laboratory. The amount of sleep they'd had on the preceding night was recorded, they then underwent a pretest, training, practice and a posttest using basic tasks such as a cup drop and rope pass along with task-specific drills like pattern cutting, clip application and loop application. Time to completion, penalty score, and total score were assessed.
The study found that training in the lab resulted in significant improvement of basic laparoscopic skills and short-term sleep deficits did not appear to hinder the acquisition of these skills,
Temple has developed a surgical training laboratory and is building a new clinical simulation lab to give residents more opportunity to learn and practice surgical skills now that residents' work hours are limited to an average of 80 per week.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2004/07/26/prbf0726.htm.