Assessment of a novel 3hrs-on/3hrs-off/3hrs- on/15hrs-off watchstanding schedule on the USS STOCKDALE (DDG-106)
Shattuck, Nita Lewis
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This study assessed the utility of the novel 3hrs-on/3hrs-off/3hrs-on/15hrs-off (3-3-3-15) watchstanding schedule on the USS STOCKDALE (DDG 106) while the ship was conducting underway operations. Crewmembers (N=129) completed a survey to provide their opinion about the utility and the acceptance of the 3-3-3-15 as compared to their previous schedule, i.e., the 3hrs-on/9hrs-off (3/9). The novelty of the 3-3-3-15 lies in the clustering of the two shifts, which are divided by a 3-hour off period, and the long 15-hour off period after the second shift. The predicted effectiveness of the 3-3-3-15 was assessed with the Fatigue Avoidance Scheduling Tool (FAST). Crewmembers reported sleeping 5.80±1.23 hours daily. The average PSQI Global score was 7.29±2.89, with ~73% of the participants identified as “poor sleepers”. In comparison to the 3/9, the average rate of non-negative responses of the 3-3-3-15 (to include positive and neutral responses) ranged between 80% and 90%. The largest acceptance (positive) rates were identified in sleep affordability, the adequacy of time to complete off-watch duties and shipboard/departmental qualifications, to work out, to have more personal time, to be able to plan daily activities. Given that sleep satisfaction and acceptance rates of the 3-3-3-15 were equivalent or better than other watchstanding schedules, our results suggest that the 3-3-3-15 may be a useful schedule from an ergonomic and sleep hygiene perspective. Evidence also suggest, however, that the 3-3-3-15 may not be as good for officers whose duties demand high level of situational awareness about ship operations, for watchstanders in the Operations Department or for bridge watch duties. Overall, the 3-3-3-15 has the potential to be a useful alternative to existing watch standing schedules in terms of crew fatigue levels, acceptance by the crewmembers, and workload management when working in a Navy vessel. Being a novel schedule, however, more effort should be focused on how to best implement the 3-3-3-15 on a ship, and what are the factors that affect the utility of the 3-3-3-15 at sea.
Prepared for: Commanding Officer, USS STOCKDALE (DDG-106)
NPS Report NumberNPS-OR-18-002
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