Long-term implications of critical incident stress among emergency responders

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Beaton, Deborah
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2003
Critical Incident Stress has the potential to affect emergency services personnel to the degree that it can change the way the responder acts and reacts in all facets of his or her life, including the job and his or her family. Research into these potential effects has produced a greater understanding of the responders experiences within a short period of time after the perceived critical incident. This study investigates the long-term effects of critical incident stress among emergency responders from two cities in the three emergency services professions were interviewed to determine what their experiences were at least six months post critical incident. A structured incident had in three areas of teh emergency responders lives: impact on job, impact on the individual responder, and perceived impact on emergency responders families. For particpants, symptoms of Critical Incident Stress lasted between 6 months and 2 years after the perceived critical incident. Analysis of the data indicatees that single responder critical incidents have the potential to negatively affect emergency responders resulting in the loss of enthusiasm and passion for their work, debilitating psychological distress, and isolation from valued support systems. Long-term effects of Critical Incident Stress change the perceptions that responders have about the job, about themselves, and the relationships with their families. The culture of emergency services, changing identities, and the lack of support from both within the system and outside of the system were seen as variables that contribute to the long-term effects of Critical Incident Stress.
xi, 181 leaves ; 29 cm.
Emergency medical personnel -- Job stress , Emergency medical personnel -- Health and hygiene , Fire fighters -- Job stress , Fire fighters -- Health and hygiene , Police -- Job stress , Police -- Health and hygiene , Rescue work -- Psychological aspects , Post-traumatic stress disorder , Dissertations, Academic