Volume 6, No. 2 • Summer 1991

Very Long Hours in Survey Seen as Unbelievable; Comments Sought

Ted Kehn, C.R.N.A.

To the Editor

In response to the article “APSF Survey Reveals Long Work Hours in Anesthesia” (APSF Newsletter, Winter 1990-91, page 43), let me say that I agree with the Editor in finding the summary of responses to reveal some “astounding information.”

In having worked as a C.R.N.A. in anesthesia for 32 years, in civilian and military hospitals ranging in size from 35 to 3,000 beds, from Maine to Seattle and Germany to Vietnam, I have never encountered conditions in which any anesthetist or anesthesiologist worked the kinds of hours reported in this survey. I cannot remember ever working more than four, possibly five, hours without a break. The average would have been closer to 1 Y2-2 hours. Although I have practiced alone for six years now, I can’t believe working conditions in anesthesia have deteriorated to the extreme degree reflected in this article. I would hope that these are extremely unrepresentative data.

Ted Kehn, C.R.N.A. Norway, ME

[Editor’s NW: Comment at the time of the original publication suggested that those with unusually long working hours would be most likely to respond to the survey. Readers’ opinions on this point and on work hours in general are invited.]