Petri CR, Ranchoff BL, Cohen AP, Sullivan AM, Schwartzstein RM, et al. (2019) An Exploratory Study of Overnight Education in the Medical Intensive Care Unit. Int J Crit Care Emerg Med 5:063.


© 2019 Petri CR, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

BRIEF REPORT | OPEN ACCESSDOI: 10.23937/2474-3674/1510063

An Exploratory Study of Overnight Education in the Medical Intensive Care Unit

Camille R Petri1*, Brittany L Ranchoff2, Amy P Cohen2,3, Amy M Sullivan2,4,5, Richard M Schwartzstein2,4,5 and Margaret M Hayes2,4,5

1Massachusetts General Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Combined Fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Harvard Medical School, USA

2Carl J. Shapiro Institute for Education & Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, USA

3Harvard T.H. Chan Public School of Health, USA

4Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, USA

5Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, USA



Many hospitals in the United States employ overnight intensivist coverage for their medical intensive care units, but little is known about the effect of this staffing model on trainee education, and the learning that occurs overnight. This study examined the educational interactions occurring between residents and overnight intensivists in the context of the overnight multidisciplinary learning environment.


We conducted an anonymous, cross-sectional survey of internal medicine residents and overnight intensivists at a single, tertiary academic teaching hospital regarding teaching impact, teaching frequency, educational needs and learning preferences when working overnight.


Of those surveyed, 61% (33/54) of residents and 56% (15/27) of intensivists responded. Residents identified overnight intensivists as having the highest teaching impact overnight, followed by co-residents, respiratory therapists, then nurses. Residents reported learning most about ventilator management (87%), procedures (70%), and vasopressors (67%) overnight. Overnight intensivists reported teaching most about ventilator management (100%), procedures (83%), and running a "code blue" (67%). Residents favored teaching that is procedural (78%), topic-specific (75%), and delivered in a one-on-one setting (63%).


Residents identify the overnight intensivist as an impactful teacher. Other providers working in the intensive care unit overnight also contribute to resident education. Further study is needed on the educational roles of other multidisciplinary team members. There is opportunity to tailor overnight education both in content and style to suit learners' needs.