Medical Education Training Unit

HALT Study


Janice Riegen
Dr Christopher Mysko


Medical Education Training Unit

Project code: MHS159

Stop! What is your HALT status?
The HALT campaign is being used at Guys and St Thomas NHS Trust in the UK. It is designed to address the ‘take a break’ culture in health organisations and focuses on the risk and consequences of fatigue (Farquhar 2017). The abbreviation HALT stands for Hungry, Angry, Late, Tired. It addresses the relationship between staff wellbeing, sleeping patterns and healthy diet on mental health and wellbeing and the ability to manage work load. In the workplace, this has direct correlation with collegial relationships and the safety and quality of patient/client care, experience and outcomes.
Health workers are required to perform complex functions over sustained durations. Fatigue resulting from extended high intensity work without taking a break can lead to impaired function and judgement. Recent research suggests that fatigue is comparable to alcohol intoxication. Fatigue is a hidden factor in our healthcare environment.
This study looks to shed light on the ‘take a break habits’ of staff at Waitemata DHB in order to assess the need for an intervention such as the HALT framework

As the first step of an action research cycle, we would like to explore the HALT status of our staff to get a feel for our ‘take a break’ culture. We aim to understand how employees make use of their allocated break times. This will provide a base line of data to inform decisions about possible interventions such as the introduction of the HALT campaign at Waitemata DHB. Furthermore, in the event that HALT is introduced, this data will allow us to assess the efficacy of the intervention by comparing post intervention data with data from this study.
This work is linked to the organisational Healthy Workplaces Strategy that is aligned to the organisational promise, purpose and values. The current focus of the work is looking at positive mental health, sleep and fatigue.

Skills taught/utilised
• A literature search will guide study design
• Action research using quantitative methodology
• Data Collection strategies
• Academic writing of final report and for potential publication
• Project and time management

Student pre-requisites
• Outgoing personality
• Health sciences background
• Interest in wellbeing
• Basic statistical skills
• Sound academic writing skills

FMHS Teaching and Learning Community: Assessment of impact and exploration of future development


Angela Tsai
Dr. Michelle Honey



Project code: MHS050

In 2016, teaching staff across multiple health- and science-related disciplines established an interdisciplinary Community of Practice to support staff development and enhancement of teaching and learning. After two years, it is timely to study the impact and effectiveness of the Teaching and Learning Community (TLC), and explore areas for further development.

Communities of practice have been commonly identified in the literature, and within education (Wenger, 2011). However, the establishment of a cross-discipline, Faculty-wide community of practice to support educators in the tertiary sector is novel. A community of practice is defined as “groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly” (Wenger, 2011, p. 1).

This study aims to evaluate the community of practice among FMHS educators across multiple disciplines. Ethics will be obtained via The University of Auckland Human Participants Ethics Committee and will have been obtained by the time the summer scholar is ready to begin work.

Skills that will be taught:
• Search strategies to identify relevant and appropriate articles for a literature review.
• Create a Library of suitable articles using a reference management tool (e.g. EndNote / Zotero / RefWorks).
• Draft a literature review.
• Collate quantitative data (e.g. using Excel).
• Presentation of quantitative data using descriptive statistics and presentation of results using tables and graphs (e.g. SPSS).
• Beginning skills in qualitative research through involvement in transcribing interviews and undertaking thematic analysis (e.g. using NVivo).

It is intended that this project will result in a published research paper to which the student will contribute and receive authorship.

Wenger, E. (2011). Communities of practice: A brief introduction. October(6), 1-7. Retrieved from