Free «24 Hour Shifts» Essay Sample

Executive summary

Since the adoption of the 24-hour duty shifts for EMS personnel, the service delivery and the quality of service have been proven to pose a risk to the patients who are in dire need of emergency medical services. This is because of medical errors associated with in efficiency related to the long working schedule and exhaustion. In addition, the long 24-hour shifts are over working the EMS personnel and cause sleep disturbance and impact negatively upon their performance.

The 24-hour shifts are an upgrade from the 9 to 5 work shift for the EMS staff and other health care givers. The increased working duration, has been associated with the Ems inefficiencies at work due to exhaustion and the deprivation of sleep with has various side effects. These variables have led to the greater risk that is impacted to the patients who require or rather use the services of Emergency Medical services personnel.

Do 24 Hour Shifts For Ems Personnel Adversely Impact Patient Care or the Employees

Statement of the problem

The 24 Hour Shifts for EMS Personnel adversely Impact Patient Care as opposed to employees.

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According to Westfal, Filangeri & Santa, (2000), the 24-hour duty shifts for EMS personnel have been proven to pose a risk to the patients, because of medical errors, in addition to employees working them because of sleep disturbances and impacts upon their performance. The 24-hour shifts are an upgrade from the 9 to 5 work shift for the EMS staff and other health care givers. This system was introduced as per the public victim's interest and vested requirements but it is proving dangerous.

Main body

Accidents have occurred in theatres and pharmacies due to sleep deprivations and the long work shifts. According to the surveys done prior, the duration of the shift affects the paramedic performance significantly. The health care givers do show poorer performance towards the end of the long shift, which is attributed to exhaustion and lack of enough sleep (Westfal, Filangeri & Santa, 2000). At the end of the long shift, the performance of the paramedics is way below when compared to how they execute the responsibilities when they are in a shorter shift. Longer shifts at work for the EMS staff for instance, are too associated with the execution of fewer medical interventions towards the end. This is because the paramedics are almost completely used up and this would lower their concentration and drive to perform their roles.

In busy and long shifts, skills and movements are critical and they are the kind of issues that have led to poor performance (Westfal, Filangeri & Santa, 2000). The speed desired as the paramedic execute their responsibilities is also critical and it is lowered by the long shift at work; the 24 hour shift. All the above factors are linked to sleep deprivation hence the poor performance for the EMS staff and other paramedics in general. Fatigue is caused by the long hours at work, which translated to reduced time to sleep and relax for the EMS and the paramedics. These are subjected to public service at their expense and this accrues to deterioration in the work performance. A decline in performance of medical issues is risky to the patients due the risks that are linked to sleeping at work. All the woes are due to the 24 hour shifts for the EMS and paramedics.

From Hawthorne, (2010), the 24-hour shift for the EMS personnel translates to lack of sleep and complete exhaustion. This is because the shifts are long and the issues to attend to are many. This lack of limit on the number of hours to work turns out to be too risky for the patients. The fatigue that is due to long hours and sleep deprivation in addition to circadian disruption has been recognized as the substantial cause of critical human errors. The exhaustion translate to frequent diagnostic errors and well as the reduction in the respective speed related to tasks completion.  Both of these reasons are critical to the patient's health. This is because a wrong diagnosis means that a patient in need of emergency medical services will be given the wrong medication. This will not help him or her to recover leave alone to stabilize; it causes more troubles and pain instead (Hawthorne, 2010).

After the realization that the patient is even deteriorating in health, then the EMS personnel are forced to repeat the whole process from diagnosis to new medications. How the patients will cope with such frequent administration of the wrong medications and the likely levels of intoxications is critical. This is a fatal risk to patients and most of the effected do succumb at the EMS personnel hands.

According to Hawthorne, (2010), the last quarter of the EMS personnel 24-hour shift, is full of errors and decrease in speed at role-play. It is common that most of cases that are in need of urgent medical attention happen at the wee hours of the morning. Unfortunately, during this time, the EMS personnel are used up and they have little energy left to cope with the stress at that time. The EMS personnel do fail in speed as they attend to patients who are first in dire need of urgent medical attention. This decrease in speed poses a great risk to patients, as they will not be given the desirable services by the Emergency Medical services staff. This not because they are slow, but it is influenced by exhaustion and long hours at work: by the 24-hour shift. This means that, the patients has a chance of losing life in the hands of EMS personnel due to a decline in the levels of performance and speed. It is thus critical to argue that the long shifts at work for the EMS staff are more risky to the patients.

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Sleep deprivation is what the 24-hour shift affects most (Elling & Elling, 2002). The side affects of this include the rise in the reaction time. This means that it takes a longer duration for the EMS personnel to react to a variation as opposed to an individual who had enough of sleep. Furthermore, Elling & Elling, (2002), argues that the delayed in reaction rate means that the EMS personnel are not able to respond to the situations as they arise in the magnitude that they deserve. This therefore means that, emergency services will be slow, which is in contrast to the expectations by each of the patients. The low reaction; rate lower responses and increases yawning instead. It is critical to question whether the pain and the sickness that the patient will be suffering from will too be responding in a slow motion. It is significant to argue that the 24-hour work shift for the EMS staff affect the patient in a significant manner. They are deprived off the practical attention and responses by sleep supposed to be given by the EMS staff.

The 24-hour work shift for the EMS personnel, leads to exhaustion and lapse of attention.  It is critical for emergency medical services staff to be attentive as they attend to patients and victims of disaster. This ensures that there is no room for error and the victims are attended to as desired. This is contrasted by the 24-hour work shift for the EMS staff. In recent times, cases of ambulance crashes are in the surge. The cause of the crashing of an ambulance that is supposed to offer rescue services when needed on emergency is attributed to lapse of attention (Elling & Elling, 2002). Nevertheless, one asks what influences the lapse of attention. It is caused by exhaustion and lack of sleep due to the long duration at work for the EMS staff. Lapse of attention due to the 24-hour work shift for the EMS personnel is attributed to an increase in the risks that the particular patient is subjected. It is critical therefore to argue that the 24-hour work shifts results to exhaustion and lapse of attention for the EMS staff, which leads to dangerous situations of the patients in the hands of the EMS staff.

The instances of poor human brain motor functioning is attributed to increased risks to the patients requiring emergency medical services due to long working shifts for the EMS personnel (Bruce, 2008). During the final quarter of a long day at work, people are depleted of energy and they are not able to think and undertake tasks same as a person who is fresh. Long durations at work require a relaxation period to relief the motor from stressing circumstances. This means that, the 24-hour work shift impairs the functioning of the motor due to sleep deprivation, which then leads to more danger to patients who are in dire need of the emergency medical services.

A loss of memory is also associated to a longer duration at work. This means that the EMS personnel will not be able to remember well what he or she was undertaking at a particular point.  One may be operating on a patient, for instance to get out a dislodged bullet, but in the process forget what he or she was up to or the caution that is desired. This most probably would result to fatal consequences to the victim. He or she might end up losing life where it was not necessary due to the loss of memory. Thus, the 24-hour working shifts leads to a decrease in concentration and loss of memory by the EMS personnel, a thing that accrues to dangerous circumstances for the victims.

A depressed immune system is due to the lack of sleep and exhaustion that to the EMS staff, is attributed to the longer working duration. A 24-hour busy working shift attending to various cases of the EMS personnel is likely to depress ones immune system. This means that, a depressed immune system will lead to poor performance and lazing around in responsibility execution by the EMS staff. This in turn leads to very dangerous circumstances to the victims who require the emergency medical services.

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The 24-hour working shift means that the EMS personnel are going to spend more time at work as opposed to the 9 to 5 traditional work shift. The longer duration at work means that the respective personnel are deprived time desired for sleep. This is taken to mean that the EMS staff are deprived of the almost 100% concentration levels. It is a factor that shows that distraction, bewilderment, and depression will be experienced by the Emergency Medical Service givers in their course of work, (Diane & Khuel, 2007). These factors lead to poor EMS staff performance and execution of roles and responsibilities. Such happening translates to the sense that patients will not receive the medical attention that is critical to the situation that they are suffering. It is therefore more dangerous to patients, as opposed to being advantageous, that the introduction of the 24-hour working shift was implemented to the Emergency Medical Service givers.

Instances of having biting headaches, and feeling irritated is also traced from the EMS staff 24-hour working shift. The situations that surround the 24-hour shift results to high blood; pressure and trauma to the EMS staff. There is no being that can efficiently function when he or she is subjected to headache and being irritated by one or two things. Irritation is even more dangerous and it involves the feeling of unsettledness and disgust. These factors coupled by the high blood pressure plus stress do minimize the efficiency of the EMS staff. This is a disadvantage, which it then sent to patients, and they are the sufferers of the 24-hour working shift for the EMS personnel.

Decision-making is delayed by the long working hours of the Emergency Medical service personnel (Browne, 2003). This is because, they involved operatives are subjected to very wanting conditions and they are busy all through to afford sitting down and combine efforts related to the ways forward from various situations. A patient who has to undergo an urgent head skull operation for instance, requires a deliberation by the various experts, but who may not be available at the time of need. This because the EMS personnel are busy elsewhere or the duration of shifts in between is too long in such a way that, their usefulness becomes threatening to the victims life. It is thus reasonable to conclude that, the 24- hour shifts for the EMS staff, has more dire effects to the patients.

From Pierce, (2003), in a prior research, it was found that healthcare requires a sober individual. An instance of long duration at work result to over working. The two variables; long working duration: The 24-hour shifts and overworking then accrues to catnap dispossession and fatigue. The demerits of these are significant and critical to a patient's health and recovery from the disease in need of urgent medical care. The EMS staff who work for more that twelve and half hours are associated and depicted greater medical errors.

The physician interns who worked for at least 80 hours in a week, made at least 36% of solemn medical inaccuracies. This was too supported by the fact that the physician interns made nearly six times more diagnostic miscalculations when in the longer working shifts as opposed to the limited schedules. In the same research, the emergency medical service providers on training reported a failure in a consistent acumen test after they were made to work in a series of night shifts (Studnek, 2008). When the medical inters were subjected to 5 marathon shifts within a span of a week, they reported 300%, to fatigue related errors, that accrued to the death of patients. The likely risk of making fatigue errors, which had the potential of causing a patient harm, measured to 700% (Pierce, 2003). It is practical to argue that the longer working shifts for the EMS staff are associated with more risks to victims.


To sum this up, it is proven beyond doubt, what the real effects of the 24-hour working shifts are and to whom the repercussion laid. Based on the prior research and the substantial information, the long working duration; the 24-hour periods, the Emergency Medical service provider are deprived sleep and it is the cause of all the woes that befall the patients. This is because sleep deprivation causes depression, lack of concentration and poor memory, factors that affect the EMS personnel ability to execute responsibilities significantly (Pierce, 2003).

The errors than are linked to fatigue and long working durations are all done on patients who have bestowed faith and trust to the EMS staff, as they fight with their life. It is practical to have an argument that the effect linked to the longer working hours; the 24-hour scheduling are all suffered by the patients and victims of disaster.  This is because, the long durations at work affects Emergency medical service providers performance in the respective service provision. No one else, not even the emergency service providers, is affected by the longer working duration in a similar magnitude than the patients are possible.

Pierce, (2003), justifies that this is because, the EMS staff or human resource, tend to attend to patients and nobody else. A failure in the role-play due to the longer working duration means that the patient will have to suffer the consequences. In his research therefore, It is reasonable have a stronger argument that, the 24 duty shifts for Emergency Medical Service personnel have been proven to pose more dangerous circumstances and probabilities to patients as a result of medical errors. These are because the employees, who work in the EMS sections, are subject to sleep disturbances, which affect their performance levels.


It would be necessary that there be a revision of the EMS employee scheduling to cover the shorter work shifts as opposed to the longer 24-hour kind. This is because, the exhaustion and deprivation of sleep has in recent year led to great danger o the patients and victims who require the services of the EMS personnel. The introduction of the shorter shifts will ensure that EMS staff have enough time for relaxation and enjoyment, which will then improve their efficiency and quality of service. This will then reduce the risks that the victims in need of quick medical services are subjected to since the adoption of the longer working shifts approach.

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