Working at night is an essential part of providing a comprehensive 24-hour service to patients. However, night work requires residents to remain awake and alert when physiologically programmed to be asleep. Many residents may take 24-hour calls or primary night calls on certain rotations, and, on these occasions, residents can expect to stay away and working throughout the entire night.
The aim of Fighting Fatigue: A Guide for Cardiothoracic Surgery Residents is to provide simple advice on how to prepare to work at night. It includes guidance on managing sleep at home, staying as alert and refreshed as possible while on duty at night, and how to recover from working nights in the most efficient and effective way. Although the Guide has been written with those working extended night or on-call rotations in mind, much of the advice is applicable to those residents taking more prolonged calls. Indeed, these longer calls carry the risk of even more severe sleep deprivation, than simple night call.