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Article
Emergency medical technician schedule modification: impact and implications during short- and long-term follow-up
Emergency Medicine Publications and Presentations
  • Edwin D. Boudreaux, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Cris V. Mandry, Lousiana State University
  • Phillip J. Brantley, Louisiana State University
UMMS Affiliation
Department of Emergency Medicine
Date
3-10-1998
Document Type
Article
Medical Subject Headings
Adult; Attitude of Health Personnel; Burnout, Professional; Circadian Rhythm; *Emergency Medical Technicians; Female; Humans; *Job Satisfaction; Male; Stress, Psychological; *Work Schedule Tolerance
Disciplines
Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether modifying work schedules from 24- to 12-hour shifts results in favorable improvements across a range of psychological and social variables among emergency medical technicians (EMTs).

METHOD: Sequential (before and after) surveys were completed voluntarily by EMTs at 1 month prior to, 2 months after, and 1 year after a workshift modification (change from 24- to 12-hour shifts). The surveys assessed job satisfaction, occupational burnout, and attitudes toward work schedules. The questionnaires were completed at emergency medical service stations.

RESULTS: Of 70 EMTs in the system, 51 (73%) completed the first 2 stages of this study; 35 (50%) completed all 3 stages. Paired-sample t-tests revealed significant differences between baseline and 2-month posttest scores on the following variables: the Maslach Burnout Inventory: Emotional Exhaustion Scale (less perceived exhaustion at 2 months); the Schedule Attitudes Survey: General Affect (perceived more positive view toward schedule at 2 months); Social/Family Impact (perceived less disruption of social/family life at 2 months); and Composite (less overall disruption in quality of life at 2 months). Statistically significant differences between baseline and 1-year posttest scores were found on the following: Schedule Attitudes Survey: General Affect (more positive view toward schedule at 1 year); Social/Family Impact (less disruption in social/family life at 1 year); and Composite (less overall disruption in quality of life at 1 year).

CONCLUSION: Modifying EMTs' work schedules from 24- to 12-hour shifts was associated with improvements in EMTs' general attitudes toward their schedules, less disruption of social and family life, and decreased levels of emotional exhaustion at 2 months after the change. While the improvements in EMTs' attitudes toward their schedules persisted at the 1-year follow-up, the measure of emotional exhaustion returned to baseline.

Rights and Permissions
Citation: Acad Emerg Med. 1998 Feb;5(2):128-33.
Comments

At the time of publication, Edwin Boudreaux was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Related Resources
Link to Article in PubMed
PubMed ID
9492133
Citation Information
Edwin D. Boudreaux, Cris V. Mandry and Phillip J. Brantley. "Emergency medical technician schedule modification: impact and implications during short- and long-term follow-up" Vol. 5 Iss. 2 (1998) ISSN: 1069-6563 (Linking)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/edwin_boudreaux/33/