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Being a young and inexperienced trainee anaesthetist: a phenomenological study on tough working conditions
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Health Services Research.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Health Services Research.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Health Services Research.
2006 (English)In: Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica, ISSN 0001-5172, E-ISSN 1399-6576, Vol. 50, no 6, 653-8 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

 

Background: Physicians at the beginning of their specialist education have been reported to be especially exposed to stress and difficult working conditions. Considerable worry has also been caused by reports about anaesthetists dying at a younger age than other specialists as well as by reports about higher than average suicide rates among anaesthetists. Maybe as a consequence, many young doctors are reluctant to choose anaesthesiology as their future specialty. The aim of this study was to investigate what difficulties trainee anaesthetists experience at work.

Methods: Nineteen trainee anaesthetists in six Swedish hospitals were interviewed. Phenomenological analysis of the interview text was performed.

Results: All trainees had experienced considerable, sometimes extreme demands at work. Most of them often felt insufficient and inadequate and had problems with the professional role. Support from consultants was sometimes lacking. Some trainees expressed deep feelings of loneliness and helplessness in difficult clinical situations.

Conclusions: This study shows that trainee anaesthetists have to live up to high work demands, often with very little support. Because too much stress is an obstacle to professional learning, such working conditions are a hindrance to good specialist education. The first measure to be taken should be to ensure that all trainee anaesthetists always have easy access to senior cover.

Background: Physicians at the beginning of their specialist education have been reported to be especially exposed to stress and difficult working conditions. Considerable worry has also been caused by reports about anaesthetists dying at a younger age than other specialists as well as by reports about higher than average suicide rates among anaesthetists. Maybe as a consequence, many young doctors are reluctant to choose anaesthesiology as their future specialty. The aim of this study was to investigate what difficulties trainee anaesthetists experience at work.

Methods: Nineteen trainee anaesthetists in six Swedish hospitals were interviewed. Phenomenological analysis of the interview text was performed.

Results: All trainees had experienced considerable, sometimes extreme demands at work. Most of them often felt insufficient and inadequate and had problems with the professional role. Support from consultants was sometimes lacking. Some trainees expressed deep feelings of loneliness and helplessness in difficult clinical situations.

Conclusions: This study shows that trainee anaesthetists have to live up to high work demands, often with very little support. Because too much stress is an obstacle to professional learning, such working conditions are a hindrance to good specialist education. The first measure to be taken should be to ensure that all trainee anaesthetists always have easy access to senior cover.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 50, no 6, 653-8 p.
Keyword [en]
Anesthesiology/*education, Data Collection, Humans, Interviews, Stress; Psychological/*epidemiology, Sweden
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-92050DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-6576.2006.01035.xPubMedID: 16987357OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-92050DiVA: diva2:164996
Available from: 2004-09-10 Created: 2004-09-10 Last updated: 2010-05-25Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Anaesthetists and Professional Excellence: Specialist and Trainee Anaesthetists’ Understanding of their Work as a Basis for Professional Development, a Qualitative Study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Anaesthetists and Professional Excellence: Specialist and Trainee Anaesthetists’ Understanding of their Work as a Basis for Professional Development, a Qualitative Study
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Why do some anaesthetists perform a better job than others? Why do some trainees grow faster in their professional role than others? These are important questions when the education of anaesthetists is so topical. Research in work pedagogy has shown that competence is related to the way professionals understand their work; the two first interview studies of this thesis are about understanding work. Study I shows that specialist anaesthetists understand work in four different ways, representing four aspects of work. Some of them have a comprehensive understanding, seeing three or all four aspects of work, whereas others have more restricted understandings. In Study II, trainees expressed similar ways of understanding work, some comprehensive, some more restricted. It is important that trainees develop competence in all aspects of work. Therefore, trainees need not only to develop competence by deepening their present understanding, but also by change of understanding, an important but difficult step in competence development.

Reflection is important in professional training. The reflection process should encompass all aspects of work, to enable trainees to develop a broad competence. However, only anaesthetists with a comprehensive way of understanding work have the prerequisites for facilitating trainees’ reflection in all aspects of work.

Study III, focussing on the learning environment, shows that two important principles of professional training are often violated for trainee anaesthetists: making use of the trainee’s curiosity and reducing trainees’ stress level. Trainees very much need support from well educated mentors.

Teachers should not only facilitate trainees’ development of competence but also support young trainees to develop into anaesthetists who enjoy work. Study IV shows that some experienced anaesthetists still enjoy work very much after years of practice. Their advice about how to get to terms with work should be shared with young trainees.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2004. 66 p.
Series
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 0282-7476 ; 1369
Keyword
Health services research, Professional training, competence, anaesthesiology, phenomenography, phenomenology, Hälso- och sjukvårdsforskning
National Category
Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-4518 (URN)91-554-6023-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-10-01, Fåhraeussalen, Rudbecklaboratoriet, Dag Hammarskjölds väg 20, Uppsala, 13:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2004-09-10 Created: 2004-09-10Bibliographically approved

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Larsson, JanRosenqvist, UrbanHolmström, Inger

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