Lack of sleep can affect performance in the paramedics industry (Taheri et.al, 2004). As such, techniques to reduce the impact of this irregularity ought to be developed. Clients’ lives become at risk when functions cannot be executed efficiently due to lack of sleep. This literature review explains the importance/significance of the lack of sleep; describes current state of knowledge available on the issue; offers a critical appraisal of key papers; submits a theoretical or conceptual frame that is useful to guide data collection and/or interpret findings and identifies gaps in current knowledge leading logically to the research question and hypotheses.
Importance/significance of the lack of sleep
Lesley Stahi (2008) according to a CBS news report conducted an interview on 60 minutes discussing the science of sleep. According to the report it was pointed out that people do not just sleep to rest their tired bodies, but sleep serves ‘a whole constellation of functions’ (Stahi, 2008). Taheri (2004) and his counterparts confirmed that sleep deprivation affects brain function (Taheri et.al, 2004). Paula Alhola (2007) further clarifies that sleep deprivation affects cognitive behavior (Alhola, 2007).
Current state of knowledge
A Louisiana Home News reports that paramedics have made the proclamation that lack of sleep is causing them to function inefficiently resulting in suspensions (Hearst Properties, 2010). Similarly, Paramedics in Manitoba protest lack of sleep due to forced extensive working hours (Chacun, 2012).
Critical appraisal of key papers
Critical literature appraisal will consist of five key studies. They include Drummond’s (2006) and his counterparts research on ‘Effects of two nights sleep deprivation and two nights recovery sleep on response inhibition’ (Drummond et.al, 2006). This study revealed that sleep deprivation reduces concentration and the ability to function initiating severe symptoms.
Weston and McCabe’s (2002) ‘Audit of an emergency ambulance service: impact of a paramedic system,’ outlines many discrepancies occurring in the paramedic industry whereby employees are overworked being deprived of sleep (Weston & McCabe, 2002). Lousie Roberts and Julie Henderson’s (2009) research on ‘Paramedic perceptions of their role, education, ‘ relates how paramedics perceive themselves as participants in the health care sector, especially, when attending to mentally ill clients ( Roberts and Henderson,2009)
Lloyd Hope’s (2004) research ‘Addressing Burnout in Paramedics’ highlights the workload paramedics undertake daily in the execution of their duties and the effects on their performance on the job as well as their social life (Hope, 2004). Engle-Friedman’s study on ‘The effect of sleep loss on next day effort’ posits that people who skip sleep have depleted their resources to function efficiently the next day ( Engle-Friedman et.al, 2003).
Theoretical or conceptual frame that is useful to guide data collection and/or
Coping along with Health and shift work theories are relevant to this study. Robert Hockey (1998) and his counterparts conducted studies to design theories with the assumptions that sleep deprivation affects functionality when tasks have to be performed. These theories indicate that sleep deprivation is strongly related to lower level performance on the job. SD is associated with inability to devise strategies and perceive situations accurately ( Hockey et.al, 1998).
Gaps in current knowledge leading logically to the research question and hypotheses
The hypothesis states that work quality decreases with lack of sleep/ the quality of social activities decreases with lack of sleep. Research questions are, do paramedics use a specific technique to reduce the impact of lack of sleep and how can paramedics’ students cope with lack of sleep? From the literature review the hypothesis is addressed logically. However, there are significant gaps in answering the research questions because there are no distinct studies available to answer these questions.
Alhola, P., & Päivi, P. (October 2007). “Sleep deprivation: Impact on cognitive
performance.” Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat (Dove Medical Press) vol. 3.5, pp. 553–567
Chacun, W, (2012), "Manitoba paramedics want cap on number of working hours", CBC, Mar
Drummond, P. Paulus; Tapert, SF (September 2006). "Effects of two nights sleep deprivation
and two nights recovery sleep on response inhibition". Journal of Sleep Research vol,15.
Engle-Friedman, M. Riela,S. Golan, R. Ventuneac2, A. Davis,1. Angela, D. Jefferson,D.,&
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Hockey, R. Wastell, D., & Sauer, J. (June 1998). Effects of Sleep Deprivation and User Interface
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Stahi, L, (2008), "The Science of Sleep", CBS, Jun 12, p.1.
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