There is more to road accidents than the people who are directly involved in an accident. It is not only victims of crashes who are exposed to trauma, first time responders like paramedics and members of the police are also exposed to the trauma of crashes.
Arrive Alive highlights the importance of addressing the long-term effects of this trauma.
The road safety awareness site inquire from emergency medical response service provider ER24 for insight on how to deal with trauma counselling for first responders.
“We need to keep in consideration that the first responders are performing a duty to the victims and/or patients and by doing so, are putting their own safety and concern on the line. Often, dealing with stressful situations proves to be an extremely difficult task as an uncontrolled environment need to be controlled.”
What are the warning signs that might tell colleagues and relatives that the first responder may be in need of counselling?
The general signs are as provided by Arrive Alive:
- Mood changes (out of ordinary from the usual behaviour)
- Having trouble sleeping
- Change in appetite
- Cannot focus on work duties
- Changing of personality
Arrive Alive asked what the major threats are if a first responder in need of trauma counselling does not undergo treatment, ER24 said that it can negatively affect their work.
“The responder can freeze or start experiencing forgetfulness whilst working with patients on a scene. Colleagues can be put at risk when the person that needs counselling is not helped in the sense that they can neglect to help their colleagues or not respond when help is needed. A threat to their family lives can manifest in many ways such as absenteeism’s mentally, the person can take out their feelings and frustrations on the family causing further harm or substance abuse can start that has a negative impact on every aspect of the person’s life.”
For more information on the topic at hand visit https://www.arrivealive.co.za/trauma-counselling-and-first-responders-paramedics?platform=hootsuite.
Compiled by Gypseenia Lion