Who will pick up the slack from resident work-hour restrictions?

I’ve always wondered how much more staff would be needed to compensate for restricting resident work-hours and mandating naps.

The NEJM provides the answer in their perspective piece on the issue.

Two researchers how studied that exact question, using models based on various work-hour restriction scenarios. They found that “nationally the health care system would need to create and fill new full-time”“equivalent positions for 229 nursing aides, 45 laboratory technicians, 320 licensed vocational nurses, 5984 midlevel providers (nurse practitioners or physician’s assistants), and 5001 attending physicians; if hospitals were to increase the number of residents instead, an estimated 8247 additional residency positions would have to be created.”

That’s a lot of additional pressure to place on already short-staffed and budget-pressured hospitals.

Which is why lengthening residency training seems to be the only viable solution to satisfy both the patient safety and cost demands.

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