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Regular versus extended shift outbreak roster in the emergency department and its impact on staff well-being
  1. Sohil Pothiawala1,
  2. Hong Khai Lau2,
  3. Annitha Annathurai2
  1. 1 Emergency Medicine, National Healthcare Group Woodlands Health Campus, Singapore
  2. 2 Emergency Medicine, Sengkang General Hospital, Singapore
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sohil Pothiawala, Emergency Medicine, National Healthcare Group Woodlands Health Campus, 768024 Singapore, Singapore; drsohilpothiawala{at}

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An outbreak response roster during pandemic plays a crucial role, with a recent article1 suggesting a 12-hour extended shift model, aiming to limit interactions between healthcare workers. In Singapore, a typical ED shift is around 8–9 hours. Although there are perceived benefits of working 12-hour shifts like reduction in total number of shifts and compressed working week, it can lead to staff experiencing fatigue, psychological distress, performance reduction and increased risk of errors in a busy, fast-paced ED environment.2 Also, there is a potential risk of cross-exposure as team doctors rotate between managing high-risk and low-risk areas.

Handling a pandemic like COVID-19 can …

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  • Handling editor Ellen J Weber

  • Contributors SP conceived the idea for the manuscript and also contributed to the writing and editing of the article. HKL contributed to the manuscript based on his experience as the roster planner. AA contributed in writing and provided guidance as Head of Department.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.