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Veterinary student clinical teaching hours, on-call activities and stand-down period policy

Purpose

To ensure reasonable work hours and the prevention of fatigue-related injury to students participating in clinical rosters or clinical duties in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH) and its departments and units at Massey University.

Scope

This policy applies to:

  • Massey University veterinary undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in courses requiring participation in clinical rosters, rotations or other clinical experiences in the VTH.
  • Other University undergraduate, graduate students, or visitors registered for work or learning experiences via the Undergraduate Office, participating in clinical rosters, rotations or other clinical experiences in the VTH.

Operating Procedure

Regularly Scheduled Hours

  • In the event that a student is requested to attend to patient care between 11pm and 7am on weekdays and between 5pm Friday and 7am Monday on weekends (or 7am on the morning following a public holiday), that person will be required to take a stand down period (break away from the VTH) for not less than nine hours from the end of their duty before returning to clinical rotations in the VTH.
  • A student will not be requested or permitted to work more than 12 contiguous hours in the VTH, or 15 hours within a 24-hour period.
  • A student will not be requested or permitted to work past 11pm on the last Sunday of a rotation, unless they are rostered on the same rotation the following day i.e. it is the middle weekend of a two week or longer rotation.
  • Students must be provided with one day in seven free from all clinical responsibilities, averaged over the length of the individual rotation.  This shall include on call duties and mandatory time on the clinical rotation.  Students should work with their peers to ensure that this happens when allocating after hours duties.
  • Duty hours should be limited to 70 hours per week, averaged over the length of the rotation, inclusive of any time spent working (called in) while on call.
  • A 10-minute rest break for every four hours worked as well as a 30-minute break for meals for every six hours of work will be provided.  For example, a student working an 8-10 hour day will get two 10-minute breaks and a 30-minute meal break - this will not necessarily be scheduled for a set time but should be taken when caseload permits.
  • No student will be penalised or otherwise sanctioned for adhering to this policy.

On call (after-hours) activities

  • A period of being on call (able to be called in for an after-hours call/emergency) must not exceed 24 consecutive hours.
  • A 30-minute break for meals for every six hours of work will be provided - this will not necessarily be scheduled for a set time but should be taken when caseload permits.
  • Being on call must occur no more frequently than every second night, averaged over the course of the length of the rotation.  This stipulation does not include coming in to attend to your patient for a scheduled check if required, but should last no more than one hour (in clinic) per scheduled check.

Date Created:  12/9/2018              Created By:  Ridler, Sawicki, Weston                      Approved By:  CSMC 30/11/2018

Version No:       3
Modified Date:  18/11/2019           Modified By:  Sawicki, Weston

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