Traumatic stress. Compassion stress. Physical stress. Social stress.
Regardless of their place on the responder spectrum of care, everyone from hospice nurse to combat medic can become victims, affected by the incidents to which they respond, day in and day out.
It’s been said that people in other careers dream about retirement while First Responders just dream of surviving. The environmental stressors and trauma routinely confronted by medical professionals and emergency responders affect their emotions, decisions and actions and we are doing better to prepare the next generations of providers.
From “The Importance of Emotional Resilience for Staff and Students in the ‘Helping’ Professions: Developing an Emotional Curriculum”, L. Grant, Prof of Social Work and G. Kinman, Prof of Occupational Health Psychology, Univ of Bedfordshire, “Educators need to prepare students for the realities of caring work and encourage them to be assertive in seeking out the support they require to protect their own wellbeing, to advocate for working conditions which optimize the wellbeing of their patients and clients.”
The summer conferences are providing a variety of clinical challenges from simulated complicated childbirths to simulated mass casualty scenes taken from the headlines.
Realism in clinical simulation practice is helping them to identify what they feel and why they are feeling it - in a safe environment, supported by facilitators, instructors, and peers.
We must continue to provide effective learning experiences that are immersive - simulating a “real-life” situation that can engage the learners’ senses, emotions, thinking, and behavior.