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Workplace Facilities and Accommodation for Hospital Doctors - 2006

AMA Position Statement: Workplace Facilities and Accommodation for Hospital Doctors - 2006

14 Mar 2006

1. Security

The personal security of doctors should be a primary consideration for hospitals. This is especially relevant when working at night or in circumstances which might reasonably give rise to apprehension about a doctor's safety. The following provisions should apply:

1.1 sufficient lighting inside and in the immediate vicinity of the hospital to provide a safe and secure working environment;

1.2 external doors should be secured at night with only the main entrances, which should be under staff surveillance, left open for public access;

1.3 access to secure lockers in which valuables can be stored while working;

1.4 sufficient car parking spaces for all doctors rostered on at any particular time or likely to be called in. These spaces should be: within close proximity to the hospital entry and to area of the hospital in which the doctor is working; sufficiently well lit to provide secure access at night; reserved for staff use only; and,

1.5 the passage from the car parking space to the hospital entry/exit should be secure and well lit. Security escorts should be available for doctors who are concerned about their safety.

2. Workspace on wards

2.1 Each hospital ward should have a separate area for doctors to undertake administrative work. This area should be of adequate size and be equipped with a chair and a desk, telephone, facsimile machine, and a computer terminal with adequate information technology to meet all work requirements, including word-processing facilities, internet and email access and the capability to access electronic records, test results and other clinical data.

2.2 Each hospital ward should have a private meeting space of adequate size for doctors to conduct clinical handover, hold discussions with colleagues and discussions with patient's relatives. This area should be equipped with chairs, a table, telephone, whiteboard, and computer terminal with adequate information technology, including internet access and the capability to access electronic records, test results and other clinical data.

3. Study facilities

The following study facilities should be provided:

3.1 access to hospital library facilities and resources should be available on a 24-hour basis;

3.2 computers equipped with word-processing facilities and access to the internet and email; and

3.3 a desk or workstation with a chair, in a quiet area of the hospital.

4. Message facilities

Many doctors work outside of ordinary business hours when clerical and support services may be unavailable. The following services should be provided on a 24-hour basis:

4.1 facilities to enable the taking of incoming messages; and

4.2 access to incoming mail, through the provision of "pigeon holes" or other facilities.

5. Dining facilities

Doctors are required to work in hospitals at all times, necessitating the availability of the following meal facilities on a 24-hour basis:

5.1 high quality and nutritious food;

5.2 access to tea and coffee making facilities;

5.2 an eating area away from patients and visitors; and

5.3 tables, chairs, clean cutlery and crockery.

6. Child-care facilities

6.1 Doctors and other hospital staff should have access to 24-hour high quality child-care facilities at or in the immediate vicinity of the hospital.

6.2 Where 24-hour access to child care is not feasible, there should be arrangements in place to facilitate the sharing of child care amongst employees ('nanny sharing').

6.3 A family room with adequate supervision to enable doctors to care for dependents while carrying out regular duties, where no other alternative arrangements can be made. Family rooms should provide facilities including a bed and/or cot, TV and video etc.

6.4 Individual personal circumstances and the availability of childcare should be considered when developing work rosters.

7. Common rooms

Doctors should have access to a common room, away from clinical work areas of the hospital and not accessible to patients and other staff. This room should have cooking, recreation and communications facilities which meet the following minimum specifications:

7.1 tea and coffee making facilities;

7.2 a dining table, chairs and lounge furniture;

7.3 a microwave, toaster and refrigerator;

7.4 a television and radio;

7.5 a telephone; and

7.6 24-hour access to computer facilities that meet work and study requirements including access to test results, word-processing facilities, internet and email access.

8. On-duty rest rooms

Hospitals often require doctors to be on-duty for extended hours. As a result, sleeping accommodation and rest areas are a necessary provision in hospital environments. Medical staff should have access to sleeping accommodation which meets the following minimum specifications:

8.1 a bed with clean linen (linen changed daily with additional stores of clean linen available);

8.2 individual sleeping accommodation in a quiet room separate from the clinical work areas of the hospital;

8.3 adequate lighting and ventilation;

8.4 a telephone; and

8.5 provision for securely storing clothing and belongings.

9. Showers

Clean and well-maintained individual shower cubicles and bathroom facilities should be provided and be close to secure lockers and on-duty rest rooms.

10. Ventilation and thermal control

All hospital wards, common and dining areas, clinical work areas and on-duty restrooms should be serviced by a well-maintained air conditioning system.

11. Residential accommodation

Where doctors are required to rotate to hospitals away from their normal residence for service or training purposes, separate accommodation at or in the vicinity of the hospital should be provided at no cost in accordance with the following minimum specifications:

11.1 secure, clean and well maintained sleeping accommodation that is as close to the hospital as practicable and separate from accommodation for the relatives of patients;

11.2 windows and doors fitted with security grills and locks as well as external lighting, fire detectors and extinguishers;

11.3 furnishings, facilities and whitegoods including:

11.4 a fully equipped kitchen with a conventional and microwave oven, stove, toaster, refrigerator, cutlery and crockery;

11.5 a television, radio, dining table, chairs and bed;

11.6 a clean and well maintained bathroom;

11.7 individual study desk with appropriate lighting (i.e. desk lamp); and

11.8 access to on-site car parking.


Published: 14 Mar 2006