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Sleep Deprivation, Other Impairments, and the EAP

Sleep Deprivation 

It has been shown that sleep deprivation leads to impaired performance on cognitive tasks. Thus, when physicians are sleep deprived, they are at higher risk for committing medical errors and place their patients at risk. Furthermore, sleep deprivation may put the fellow at personal risk, since fatigue is associated with increased rates of motor vehicle collisions. Fellows will learn about the importance of sleep hygiene by reviewing the SIC program via UW’s internal GME portal.
If patient care needs create resident/fellow fatigue sufficient to jeopardize patient care, the attending will step in to assume patient care duties.
Call Rooms and Safe Ride Home
If there is not a previously assigned call room available for sleep, a resident may call Bed
Control at 608-263-8775 and ask for a call room in the “resident hotel system.”
In addition, GME Administration will reimburse a resident for a cab ride home in the case that s/he is too tired to safely drive themselves home following a duty period. Receipts should be turned in within 30 days of the ride.

Other Physician Impairments 

Like all other UW Health employees, neurology residents are expected to report to work unimpaired in their ability to perform their duties at all times. If a resident’s medication use may impair his or her fitness for duty, the resident must report this to the program director or the Employee Health Service. Illicit drug use is, of course, not tolerated in this workplace. For more detailed information, please see the following UW Health policies:

  • 9.23     Pre-Employment Drug Testing for Safety Sensitive Positions
  • 9.05     Drug-Free Workplace
  • 9.34     Fitness for Duty: Impaired Employee
  • 9.22     Fitness for Duty: Health Service Clearance to Return to Work / Continue Work

The Employee Assistance Program 

UW Health recognizes that employees' physical, psychological and/or emotional health and work / life concerns can adversely affect their work. Therefore, UW Health offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), outsourced through Empathia, Inc., that can provide confidential assessment, counseling, and referral services to those in need. The toll-free number is 800-634-6433. Some of the available services include:

  • Assessment and counseling
  • Legal consultation
  • Financial consultation
  • Dependent care consultation

Latest revision: 12-01-2017