“86.9% of emergency service staff reported symptoms after exposure to highly distressing events with traumatised people.”
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Compassion Fatigue in Emergency Services Workers
Exposure to life-changing events is a daily occurrence for Emergency Service Workers. And while there may be some understanding of how this repeated “vicarious trauma” can affect you and your team, you might struggle to receive the help and support you need.
When you are in charge of managing high-risk situations, you might feel you should be able to deal with any associated mental-health impact. But that overlooks the very fundamental truth of vicarious trauma – your brain cannot detect between stressful events that happen to other people, or that happen to you. When you are the witness to devastating events every day, you will suffer effects.
But you do not have to suffer alone — there are many ways we can help you.
Why Emergency Services Workers are at risk
Those who work in the frontline Emergency Services may be more at risk from Compassion Fatigue, for several reasons:
- On a daily basis, you witness extreme violence and major trauma; things that other people would witness only perhaps once in a lifetime.
- You are aware that many times you literally stand between life and death. You might feel that saving lives is your “mission”, and so consequently take it very personally if you fail.
- You often work in isolation (alone in a car or on a motorbike), and so have no colleagues to share the experience.
- You have no time to mentally recover between “jobs”. It’s just back in the ambulance and straight on to the next trauma.
- You are blamed if response times are not met.
- There is a less than empathetic culture within the NHS
- You are probably reluctant to admit you have a problem for fear of stigma, or of being viewed as unable to cope with the job.
Are you suffering from Compassion Fatigue?
We’ve created a simple test you can take now to discover if you’re currently suffering from Compassion Fatigue. Take the test here.
What you can do
How can you lessen your risk of Compassion Fatigue? In truth, you can’t. All you can do is be aware of the risk, understand the symptoms, and have strategies in place to manage the stress when it (inevitably) arises.
Compassion Fatigue Awareness training
To find out more, contact us.
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of Emergency Services workers work longer hours than they are paid for
of Emergency Services workers said their family and friends noticed a difference in them after Compassion Fatigue Awareness Training
of Emergency Services workers noticed symptoms of Vicarious Trauma in themselves
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Compassion Fatigue Awareness Training Courses
Talk to an EF training expert
Contact one of the team at EF training, discover more and book an appointment/training session. Call us on +44 (0)1753 623 065 or complete our online form using the link below.