Preliminary Assessment of a Novel Watchstanding Schedule for a Crew on a Small Surface Combatant of the United States Navy
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We assessed the utility of a fixed, 3-section, watchstanding schedule in a small surface combatant of the United States Navy. Sailors on the "5 hrs-daytime/3 hrs-nighttime" or "D5/N3" schedule stood two watches every day, one a 5-hour daytime shift and one a 3-hour nighttime shift. Crewmembers (N = 27) completed a questionnaire while the ship was underway to assess the utility and the crew's acceptance of the D5/N3. Crewmembers reported sleeping 5.6 ± 1.3 hours daily. The average PSQI Global score was 8.3 ± 3.5, with ~81% of the participants identified as "poor sleepers." Approximately 94% of the respondents noted that the D5/N3 was either better (53%) or the same (41%) compared to their previous watch schedule. The predictability of the daily schedule, the ability to plan daily activities, the adequacy of time to complete watch duties, the availability of time for off-watch duties/shipboard-departmental qualifications, and higher alertness/better ability to focus were considered the strengths of the D5/N3. Overall, the D5/N3 has the potential to be a useful alternative to existing 3-section watch standing schedules in terms of crew alertness levels, acceptance by the crewmembers, and workload management when working in a Navy vessel. Because it is a novel schedule, however, more effort should be focused on how to best implement the D5/N3 on a ship, and on the factors that affect its use at sea.
The article of record as published may be found at https://doi.org/10.1177/1071181319631005
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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