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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
University of South Wales
Verity Kemp
Independent Health Emergency Planning Consultant
Keith Porter
University of Birmingham
Tim Healing
Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London
John Drury
University of Sussex
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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.

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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