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Post traumatic stress is the immense emotional wounds after a trauma (Glenn, 2009. p.4). An overview on post traumatic stress reveals that people who are not usually at direct risk during traumatic moments nevertheless become traumatized. Treating people who are traumatized is the major connector that does link traumatic feelings as well as emotions to the secondary victims. The purpose of this paper is therefore to give an in depth analysis on views of different authors on the causes, effects, symptoms, prevention and treatment of post traumatic stress in nurses. It gives the extent to which the nurses are affected. However, preventive measures are lacking thus the medical fraternity should come up with rational strategies to curb post traumatic stress in both the nurses and patients.
Bracken, Patrick. 2001. Post modernity and post traumatic stress disorder. Social science
and medicine journal. 53(6): 733-743.
Patrick gives a deep insight of post traumatic stress. Patrick uses a rational choice theory approach to give a deep analysis of post traumatic stress disorder. He starts with a rational approach of the meaning to the symptoms then the effects of post traumatic stress. I used articles and research database strategy to get to this article. The search terms were ‘meaning of post traumatic stress’. I got 5, 879 articles that were related to this article. The article is credible, relevant and reliable because the author has given credit to other authors through citation. Also the fact that the date when the article was published is quite recent, I figured out that the content was not outdated. Patrick affirms that post traumatic stress is the later effects of trauma. His definition differs from some authors like (Glenn 2009. p.4) who in his book confirms that post traumatic stress usually refer to the immense emotional wounds. Patrick has also given the effects of trauma as well as the meaning of post traumatic stress helps us tackle the rest of the paper knowing what we are really dealing with. The author asserts that that the symptoms of post traumatic stress are flashbacks, nightmares and persistent memories. He calls this as the intrusive symptoms.
There are also the avoidance symptoms which are withdrawal from other people, emotional numbing and avoidance of the reminders of past events. There are also overarousal symptoms which include irritability and insomnia. The author affirms that there are many people who have been affected by post traumatic strategy and thus a working strategy is highly needed.
His understanding of the symptoms of post traumatic disorder relate with that of Glenn (2009, p.23) though Patrick’s views are more detailed. Glenn affirms that the effects of post traumatic stress disorder is anxiety, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual fatigue, dissociation, memory breakdown and insomnia.
Patrick in his qualitative research attempts to answer the question why there have been so many cases of trauma. He uses theories and cites Mcfarlane (1990) who affirmed that the decline in psychoanalytic theory has led to increase of post traumatic stress. The Freudian theory is also comprehended to be the reason behind conflicts that usually leads to post traumatic stress.
Michael, Rene., Mistss, Macisa & Jenkins Heather. 2008. Work related trauma the
experiences of perioperative nurses. Collegian: Journal of the royal college of nursing Australian. 8(1): 19-25
Rene et al have written a comprehensive article on post traumatic stress as far as the nurses are concerned. To get to this journal I used a database search strategy (library strategy). My search terms were “post traumatic stress in nurses” and I got 4, 975 articles to choose from. The author uses medical theory in helping us understand some of the experiences that the nurses go through in their working areas.
The reason I used this article is because the content was in line with the issue of post traumatic stress in nurses. The article is relevant on the grounds that it analyzes the issue of post traumatic stress on nurses and offers a solution. Also the information presented is recent thus it is reliable. Rene et al asserts that the nurses go through traumatic experiences in their workplaces. They assert that the nurses who suffer from post traumatic stress usually feel different and intense. They even go through trauma. However, their analysis of what the nurses go through is not as detailed as other authors. (Helen and Conal 2007, p.348-356) give an immense analysis of what the nurses go through. According to them, nurses dealing with traumatized patients go through psychological, mental, social and physical disturbances. They are usually accompanied by anxiety, insomnia, fatigue and avoidance.
Rene et al confirms that the workplace experiences usually subjects them to impaired functioning as well as distress. In a survey that was done on 233 nurses analyzing on the types of the traumatic work experiences that they usually handle and the number of people that were affected, it showed that 69% of the nurses usually faced traumatic experiences and usually affected their whole well being. They recommended for an environment that was conducive for the nurses to work and be functional to avoid stress.
Sinclair, Helen & Hamili, Conal. 2007. Does vicarious traumatisation affect oncology
nurses? A literature review. European journal of oncology nursing. 11(4): 348-356
Helen et al in their literature review article gives a deep analysis on what the main reasons why Oncology nurses are at risk of been affected by traumatic stress. To get to this journal I used the Uni library database. My strategy was to know the benefits that the nurses enjoyed in their profession to the problems they face as well as the solutions as far as post traumatic stress is concerned. The search terms were “ causes of post traumatic stress in nurses”. There were 3, 652 related articles. The article is relevant on the grounds that it reveals some of the problems that the nurses usually go through as they handle the patients. The reason why I used it is because it is quite detailed and reliable source on the grounds that it has been properly cited thus showing credibility. It also reveals the other side of the coin that as much as people when they are traumatized go to the nurses, the nurses also have a cost to pay for caring for these patients. The article is rich of necessary material that are quite relevant to this topic.
The authors affirm that the nurses also have to pay a cost for listening to their patient’s stories of pain, fear and suffering. Their reasoning is similar to that of Charles (1995, p.1) who also asserts that there is always a cost in caring. Charles also asserts that the professionals who do listen to the sad stories of their client are prone to stress due to the fact that they care. All these authors use utilitarian theory of doing good for the benefit of all. They assert that the nurses might also be at a risk of feeling similarly the same way as much as their intention is genuine. The model that is used in this article is sociological model. The authors are not just after how to treat but start with revealing the cause of the problem. Helen et al asserts that there are many benefits of being a nurse one being the professional development. There is however another potential negative side of the coin that affects their psychological, physical and environmental domain. When patients are diagnosed with a traumatizing illness, then the people to whom they share the experience with are also secondarily affected.
The nurses hence become aloof to their friends because of the trauma and have little to enjoy suffering from vicarious traumatisation. There should be educational strategies that offer sessions on ways of dealing with trauma at the workplace. The other recommendation is a reactive strategy that debriefs sessions by psychologists who will also cater for the nurses. Charles (1995, p.209) gives a contrary recommendation from the one given by Helen et al asserting that the nurses who are affected should be offered social support as well as team approach to prevent secondary trauma. Helen et al also reveal that recently, vicarious traumatisation is being accepted as the normal responses to nurses and health professional working indirectly with other people’s trauma.
Dominguez, Elvira & Rutledge, Dana. 2008. Prevalence of secondary traumatic stress
among emergency nurses. Journal of emergency nursing. 35(3): 199-204
Elvira and Dana give a quantitative analysis of the number of nurses who are affected by traumatic stress. They have conducted a research to show the effects of traumatic stress among the nurses. To get to this article, I used the science direct database. The search terms were the ‘effects of post traumatic stress in nurses’. I got 4, 434 related articles. I refined the article to be relevant to the topic since the content given was in line with nurses and post traumatic stress and was current. It was also well cited and legible. The article is crucial as it involves a research conducted up to the results on emergency nurses. Elvira et al asserts that the role of the emergency nurses is to care for those people who are exposed to traumatic circumstances. However the role of the emergency nurses according to Elvira et al is brief as compared to (Kristine et al 2005, p. 107-113) as they put it clearly that the role of emergency nursing is broad on the ground that it ranges from surgery support to preventive health care. During their empathetic caring they usually suffer from traumatic stress or fatigue. The article is relevant as it also offers the symptoms of nurses who are suffering from post traumatic stress. The symptoms are avoidance of people, arousal and intrusion which hence may lead to dissatisfaction on their jobs and burnout. The main purpose of the study was to show the prevalence of secondary traumatic stress in nurses. An exploratory comparative design of 67 emergency nurses showed that 54% of nurses were showing signs of irritability and arousal. The survey instruments comprised of STS survey and demographic tools. 52% were avoiding patients and those who had intrusion symptoms were 46%. The majority reported some minor symptoms. The final results revealed that majority of the nurses were experiencing some adverse negative results. The authors recommend for amplification of understanding on post traumatic stress through identifying of the symptoms and coming up with coping strategies. Increase of awareness may reduce emotional exhaustion.
Su, Tung., Lien, Te-Cheng., Yang, Chih., Su, Yiet., Wang, Jia., Tsai, Sing &Yin, Jeo.
2007. Prevalence of psychiatry morbidity and psychological adaptation of the nurses in a structured SARS caring unit outbreak: A prospective and periodic assessment study in
Tung et al article gives an in depth analogy on the prevalence of post traumatic stress in nurses in their quantitative research. The authors use a case study to explore on the number of health workers affected and the reason behind it. I used the science direct research database. The search terms used were ‘the prevalence of nurses suffering from post traumatic stress’. There were 1, 151 related articles. The article is relevant because it offers a detailed and a well cited case study of the SARS outbreak and how the nurses got affected. Tung et al in his quantitative article, asserts that the SARS outbreak in the year 2003 left health workers traumatized. 44 nurses were used as a sample in a survey to evaluate how they got affected.
The results revealed that 38.5% of them suffered from depression, 37% from insomnia, and others were equally highly affected psychologically. SARS sickened approximately 8000 people globally killing around 744 (WHO, 2003). The infected nurses from that incident ranged from around 3% in
Hogberg, Goran., Pagani, Marco., Sundin, Orjan., Soares, Joaquim., Wistedt, Anna.,
Tarnell, Berit and Hallstrom, Tore. 2007. Treatment of post traumatic stress disorder with eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: Outcome is stable in 35 month follow up. Psychiatry research. 159 (1-2): 101-108.
Goran et al write a literature review article on how to treat post traumatic stress. The authors use the biomedical model in the article as they put much emphasis on the treatment rather than the causes. The authors uses transcultural theory of nursing as they also affirm that there is a connection between the culture and post traumatic stress and when issues of the culture are neglected then that leads to stress. The model used in this article is biopsychosocial model where they realize that the body and mind interlink. The search terms were ‘treatment of post traumatic stress’ where I got 4, 406 related articles. I settled on this article because of its credibility. The authors have recognized that there is a need to define what is to be treated and has not only suggested the need for medication but has offered the treatment itself. The article is also well detailed thus enabling you access what you need with ease. Goran et al asserts that post traumatic stress is usually an anxiety disorder that comes after a psychological trauma. It involves derangement of the memory as well as mood regulation. It causes mental suffering (Kessler, 2000). The disorder is usually longstanding and at times chronic thus there ought to be effective treatment. A number of meta analyses of medication shows that cognitive behavioral therapy as well as eye movement reprocessing and desensitization have a major positive effects in half of the cases that have been done as they also favor with pharmacotherapy (van & Taylor, 1998). According to (Macklin, et al, 2000) there should be a follow up of about two years in order to register equivocal results. In an interview that was done among 330 subjects, 83 of the subjects answered showed that eye movement desensitization and reprocessing treatment was affective after 35 months of follow up.
These treatments are necessary as they decrease the levels of anxiety and depression within the first 35 months of follow up. The affected health workers should seek for treatment to avoid more harm. Finally they recommend for an additional attention to treatments of those people who are non responders.
and emergency nursing. 1(2): 87-91.
Chandler et al in their literature review article gives a brief view on whether apart from treating post traumatic stress it can be prevented. The strategy used in the article is a rational strategy on experiences of the nurses to prevention of post traumatic stress. The search terms were ‘prevention of post traumatic stress in nurses’ where I got 2, 539 articles. I used the Ebscohost database research strategy. The reason I chose this article is because the title of the article triggers curiosity. Also the article though brief ends with a direct answer on whether or not post traumatic stress can be prevented.
They assert there are no effectual means to prevent distress or stress but the only thing that can be done is alteration of the duration and intensity of stress based trauma by recognizing our enemies and struggling to create healing environments for the nurses as well as the patients. Their view is similar to that of (Charles 1995, p.178), as he also asserts that post traumatic stress cannot be prevented because it is a universal and a normal response to the unusual disasters though it can be prevented from becoming a disorder.
It is lucid that post traumatic stress prevails among nurses. Elvira and Dana (2008, p.199-204) assert that nurses who suffer from stress usually feel fatigued. They also suffer from insomnia and avoidance as well as withdrawal symptoms. There need to be a detailed strategy to prevent the occurrence of post traumatic stress since so far there are no preventive measures (Charles1995, p.178). There is a wide range of nurses affected and the sooner the preventive measures are gotten the better. The good thing is that there are treatments. The treatments which are effectual are cognitive behavioral therapy and eye movement reprocessing and desensitization (Goran et al 2007, 101-108).