Second Victim: Caring for the Care Giver
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In many healthcare organizations the needed support for second victims is lacking or unavailable. This paper describes the evaluation of debriefing support program for nurses who are second victims. Unanticipated and tragic patient outcomes will happen to excellent healthcare providers, the results being anxiety, depression, guilt, and fear. The effects of being a second victim can result in post-traumatic stress and compassion fatigue, with providers ultimately leaving the profession. After obtaining IRB approval, a volunteer debriefing support program was implemented. Validated surveys and an encounter form were utilized to collect data to identify the prevalence and effects of second victim and the impact of the support program. The results establish the prevalence of second victim and the need for a debriefing program. A debriefing program increases staff resilience following adverse events and it expedites the recovery of the healthcare provider to improve quality of care, patient safety, and staff engagement and retention.
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