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Chapter 38 - What Ails Professional Responders, and the Implications for Training and Sustaining Healthcare Practitioners

from Section 5 - Sustaining and Caring for Staff During Emergencies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 January 2024

Richard Williams
Affiliation:
University of South Wales
Verity Kemp
Affiliation:
Independent Health Emergency Planning Consultant
Keith Porter
Affiliation:
University of Birmingham
Tim Healing
Affiliation:
Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London
John Drury
Affiliation:
University of Sussex
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Summary

There is increasing awareness that working within the field of pre-hospital care can have psychosocial effects on clinicians. This chapter describes a systematic review of current knowledge of the psychosocial consequences of working in pre-hospital care. A considerable amount of research has been conducted, examining in particular whether practitioners develop burnout and psychiatric disorders, especially symptoms of post-traumatic stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as a result of their work. However, most studies did not fully assess whether practitioners developed clinically significant symptoms.. Instead, cross-sectional surveys and self-report questionnaires were used, which considerably overestimate the incidence of these problems. Perhaps the high scores on these questionnaires indicate that practitioners who work in pre-hospital care often suffer considerable stress and distress that can be the result of daily organisational and operational hassles, a high volume of work, lack of resources, and, less than has often been thought, attending unusual and high-profile incidents.

Type
Chapter
Information
Major Incidents, Pandemics and Mental Health
The Psychosocial Aspects of Health Emergencies, Incidents, Disasters and Disease Outbreaks
, pp. 279 - 286
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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