Through doctors' eyes: A qualitative study of hospital doctor perspectives on their working conditions.

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10147/275933
Title:
Through doctors' eyes: A qualitative study of hospital doctor perspectives on their working conditions.
Authors:
McGowan, Yvonne; Humphries, Niamh; Burke, Helen; Conry, Mary; Morgan, Karen
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Population Health Sciences, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.
Citation:
Through doctors' eyes: A qualitative study of hospital doctor perspectives on their working conditions. 2013: Br J Health Psychol
Journal:
British journal of health psychology
Issue Date:
11-Mar-2013
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10147/275933
DOI:
10.1111/bjhp.12037
PubMed ID:
23480457
Abstract:
BACKGROUND: Hospital doctors face significant challenges in the current health care environment, working with staff shortages and cutbacks to health care expenditure, alongside increased demand for health care and increased public expectations. OBJECTIVE: This article analyses challenges faced by junior hospital doctors, providing insight into the experiences of these frontline staff in delivering health services in recessionary times. DESIGN: A qualitative methodology was chosen. METHODS: Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 20 doctors from urban Irish hospitals. Interviews were recorded via note taking. Full transcripts were analysed thematically using NVivo software. RESULTS: Dominant themes included the following: (1) unrealistic workloads: characterised by staff shortages, extended working hours, irregular and frequently interrupted breaks; (2) fatigue and its impact: the quality of care provided to patients while doctors were sleep-deprived was questioned; however, little reflection was given to any impact this may have had on junior doctors own health; (3) undervalued and disillusioned: insufficient training, intensive workloads and a perceived lack of power to influence change resulted in a sense of detachment among junior doctors. They appeared immune to their surroundings. CONCLUSION: Respondents ascribed little importance to the impact of current working conditions on their own health. They felt their roles were underappreciated and undervalued by policy makers and hospital management. Respondents were concerned with the lack of time and opportunity for training. This study highlighted several 'red flags', which need to be addressed in order to increase retention and sustain a motivated junior medical workforce. STATEMENT OF CONTRIBUTION: What is already known on this subject? Loss of public funding in Ireland has led to large numbers of Irish trained doctors emigrating. Research indicates the likelihood of medical graduates returning depends on improvements to working conditions. Good working conditions are likely to encourage doctor retention yet little research has been conducted in this area. What does this study add? Intense workplace demands reduce confidence and productivity among doctors. Junior doctors were reluctant to reflect on the impact current working conditions had on their own health. Early warning signs of burnout appear to resonate with many of the issues raised by junior doctors in this study.
Item Type:
Article
Language:
en
ISSN:
2044-8287

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorMcGowan, Yvonneen_GB
dc.contributor.authorHumphries, Niamhen_GB
dc.contributor.authorBurke, Helenen_GB
dc.contributor.authorConry, Maryen_GB
dc.contributor.authorMorgan, Karenen_GB
dc.date.accessioned2013-03-25T16:51:35Z-
dc.date.available2013-03-25T16:51:35Z-
dc.date.issued2013-03-11-
dc.identifier.citationThrough doctors' eyes: A qualitative study of hospital doctor perspectives on their working conditions. 2013: Br J Health Psycholen_GB
dc.identifier.issn2044-8287-
dc.identifier.pmid23480457-
dc.identifier.doi10.1111/bjhp.12037-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10147/275933-
dc.description.abstractBACKGROUND: Hospital doctors face significant challenges in the current health care environment, working with staff shortages and cutbacks to health care expenditure, alongside increased demand for health care and increased public expectations. OBJECTIVE: This article analyses challenges faced by junior hospital doctors, providing insight into the experiences of these frontline staff in delivering health services in recessionary times. DESIGN: A qualitative methodology was chosen. METHODS: Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 20 doctors from urban Irish hospitals. Interviews were recorded via note taking. Full transcripts were analysed thematically using NVivo software. RESULTS: Dominant themes included the following: (1) unrealistic workloads: characterised by staff shortages, extended working hours, irregular and frequently interrupted breaks; (2) fatigue and its impact: the quality of care provided to patients while doctors were sleep-deprived was questioned; however, little reflection was given to any impact this may have had on junior doctors own health; (3) undervalued and disillusioned: insufficient training, intensive workloads and a perceived lack of power to influence change resulted in a sense of detachment among junior doctors. They appeared immune to their surroundings. CONCLUSION: Respondents ascribed little importance to the impact of current working conditions on their own health. They felt their roles were underappreciated and undervalued by policy makers and hospital management. Respondents were concerned with the lack of time and opportunity for training. This study highlighted several 'red flags', which need to be addressed in order to increase retention and sustain a motivated junior medical workforce. STATEMENT OF CONTRIBUTION: What is already known on this subject? Loss of public funding in Ireland has led to large numbers of Irish trained doctors emigrating. Research indicates the likelihood of medical graduates returning depends on improvements to working conditions. Good working conditions are likely to encourage doctor retention yet little research has been conducted in this area. What does this study add? Intense workplace demands reduce confidence and productivity among doctors. Junior doctors were reluctant to reflect on the impact current working conditions had on their own health. Early warning signs of burnout appear to resonate with many of the issues raised by junior doctors in this study.-
dc.languageENG-
dc.language.isoenen
dc.rightsArchived with thanks to British journal of health psychologyen_GB
dc.titleThrough doctors' eyes: A qualitative study of hospital doctor perspectives on their working conditions.en_GB
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentDepartment of Psychology, Population Health Sciences, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.en_GB
dc.identifier.journalBritish journal of health psychologyen_GB

Related articles on PubMed

All Items in Lenus, The Irish Health Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.