Too Tired to Drive Home after overnight call? Evidenced-Based Study says, "Consider a Caffeine Nap!"
Residents and faculty have a personal responsibility to recognize the signs of fatigue and sleep
deprivation in themselves and their peers. Call rooms are provided at every hospital so residents
can sleep or rest if they feel they are too fatigued to safely drive home. GME, through the University will also reimburse
cab fare if a resident or fellow needs safe transportation home due to fatigue or illness. If you're not certain
about your ability to safely drive home, but don't want to use a taxi service, a "Caffeine Nap"
could help you stay alert on the drive home.
Researchers at Loughborough University, UK, compared the effects of different methods a
sleepy driver might use to stay awake. Slapping one's face, blasting the radio, or blowing cold air
were ineffective. What worked best was a Caffeine Nap.
So if you're getting ready to drive home after a night on call, consider drinking a cup of coffee
and then immediately take a 15-minute nap (no longer). Caffeine takes about 20 minutes to take
effect. Just as the nap is ending, the caffeine kicks in and may combat the sleepiness long enough
to get home. This technique has been widely adopted by residents in the UK. Be sure to use
caffeine (needs to be 150-200 mg), not caffeine drinks with a high sugar content which can worsen
To review the full study, see Psychophysiology. 1997 Nov;34 (6):721-5. Suppression of
sleepiness in drivers: combination of caffeine with a short nap, Reyner LA, Horne JA.
On behalf of Dr. Robert Fore,
Associate Dean/DIO and David Seaberg, MD, Dean, please join us in
congratulating all our residents, mentors, and nurses involved in today's 2nd Annual Patient Safety/Quality Improvement Day in Probasco Auditorium (May 15, 2015). All
15 presentations were very good, and the judges appreciated the hard work shown
by those involved.
The first place
award was presented to Timothy Stevens, MD, Surgery Resident, for his
quality improvement project, "Effects of implementing a standardized surgical
patient handoff system." Also involved with the project are W. Heath
Giles, MD, Associate Program Director for Surgery; Eric Nelson, MD, Colon and
Rectal Surgery Faculty; and Michael Biderman, PhD, UTC Faculty who assisted
with statistics for the project.
The second place
award was presented to Grace Nguyen, MD, Pediatrics Resident, for her
quality improvement project, "Eczema Action Plan." Also involved in her
project was her faculty mentor, Karla Garcia, MD.
The third place
award was presented to Jessica Thomas, MD, Family Medicine Resident, for
her quality improvement project on "Tobacco Cessation." Also involved in
her project were team members and fellow residents, Andrea Martinelli, MD, and
Rebekah Kollar, MD; and several UT Family Medicine Faculty mentors.
An honorable mention
was presented to Eileen Shrum, RN, BSN, Nurse Manager at the Erlanger East
Emergency Department. Her other team members included Gail Henton
(Artist); Martha Rhoades, Systems Analyst at Erlanger East; and the Erlanger
East ED Staff.
We also thank our three judges
for the event:
W. Woods Blake, MD,
Erlanger Chief Quality Officer
Alan Kohrt, MD,
Chair, Department of Pediatrics, and CEO for Children's Hospital at Erlanger
Susan Thul, DNP,
APRN, CNM, Assistant Professor of Nursing, UTC School of Nursing
Finally, we express our
thanks to John Stroud, Erlanger AV Specialist, for printing the posters for
next week. Posters for each of the 15 projects will be on display in the
back of the Erlanger Medical Mall (near Outpatient Imaging Registration) all
Please congratulate all your
residents who presented and stop by to view the
posters next week.
Pamela D. Scott (Pam)Director, Graduate & Medical Student Education
UT College of Medicine Chattanooga and Erlanger Health System