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The influence of gender on performance of common clinical procedures in an acute Irish hospital

1st Edition of International Conference on Ergonomics & Human Factors
July 26-27, 2018 Rome, Italy

Domhnall McGlacken Byrne, Lucy Chapman1 and Jack Tyrell

St. James’s Hospital, Republic of Ireland Trinity College Dublin, Republic of Ireland

ScientificTracks Abstracts: Arch Med

DOI: 10.21767/1989-5216-C1-002

Abstract

Introduction: Occupational-related gender differences have been explored. Differences have also been revealed in relation to workplace conflict and friendship patterns. Within healthcare, variations in the structure of and delivery of services has also been noted between male and female general practitioners. We undertook a study to evaluate the distribution of commonly performed medical tasks by gender amongst junior doctors in an Irish context. Methods: Over a three-week period from September 25th to October 15th 2017, a prospective study was conducted amongst junior doctors in an acute Irish hospital. The number of phlebotomy and cannulation tasks as well as electrocardiograph (ECG) completion were gathered in a central database. Gender of performing doctor was collected concurrently. Ethical approval was obtained from Trinity College Dublin. Results: Of the junior doctor sample (n=34), 19 were female and 15 were male. 537 phlebotomy tasks, 319 cannulation tasks and 66 ECGs were performed. 60% of tasks (n=552) were done by a female doctor. The average number of tasks performed by a doctor according to gender is depicted in Figure 1. Notably, female doctors were twice as likely as male doctors to complete an ECG. Analysis of diurnal task frequency by gender revealed that female doctors are almost twice as likely as male doctors to phlebotomize a patient when compared with their male counterparts (daytime phlebotomy task rate 7.0 versus 3.8 for females and males respectively). ECG completion by a female doctor was more than twice as likely during daytime shifts. Conclusions: Female junior doctors appear to complete more medical tasks than their male colleagues. This was particularly found for the task of ECG completion. Human factors such as organizational attitudes to task distribution and approaches to task completion may be influenced by gender. Recent Publications 1. Davis M, Capobianco S and Kraus L (2010) Gender differences in responding to conflict in the workplace: evidence from a large sample of working adults. Sex Roles. 63(7-8):500-514. 2. Morrison R L (2008) Are women tending and befriending in the workplace? Gender differences in the relationship between workplace friendships and organizational outcomes. Sex Roles. 60(1-2):1-13. 3. Boerma W G, van den Brink Muinen A (2000) Genderrelated differences in the organization and provision of services among general practitioners in Europe. Medical Care. 38(10):993-1002.

Biography

Domhnall McGlacken Byrne graduated from Trinity College Dublin, Republic of Ireland in 2017. He is currently working at St. James’s Hospital, Dublin. He wishes to pursue his medical career in the area of pediatrics.

E-mail: [email protected]

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