Background: The effect of extended shift length on pediatric residency is controversial. Israeli residents perform shifts extending up to 26 hours, a practice leading to general dissatisfaction. In early 2020, during the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many Israeli hospitals transitioned from 26-hour shifts to 13-hour shifts in fixed teams (capsules) followed by a 24-hour rest period at home. The regulation changes enacted by the Israeli government during the COVID-19 pandemic provided a rare opportunity to assess perception by residents regarding length of shifts before and after the change.
Objectives: To assess perception of pediatric residency in three aspects: resident wellness, ability to deliver quality healthcare, and acquisition of medical education following the change to the shorter shifts model.
Methods: We performed a prospective observational study among pediatric residents. Residents completed an online self-assessment questionnaire before and after the COVID-19 emergency regulations changed toward shorter shifts.
Results: Sixty-seven residents answered the questionnaires before (37) and after (30) the shift changes. The average score was significantly better for the 13-hour shifts versus the 26-hour shifts, except for questions regarding available time for research. There was a positive perception regarding the shorter night shifts model among pediatric residents, with an increase in general satisfaction and improvement in perception of general wellness, ability to deliver quality healthcare, and medical education acquisition.
Conclusions: Following the change to shorter shift length, perception of pediatric residents included improvement in wellness, ability to deliver quality healthcare, and availability of medical education