An exploration of the connection between nursing and trauma-informed care (TIC)
As stated by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP (www.nursingcenter.com): “Trauma-informed care is a term that has been used in recent years in a variety of areas, including social services, education, mental health, and corrections to address the needs of people who have experienced traumatic life events. ”
Lisa related a compelling story about how she has learned first hand about the severe consequences that may arise from this kind of trauma as she deals with a patient.
“Traumatic events, such as sexual abuse, domestic violence, elder abuse, and combat trauma, can have serious long-term detrimental effects on the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of an individual. These life events may lead to depression, distrust, smoking, substance abuse, shame, and low self-esteem. ”
“The four essential approaches of nursing and trauma-informed care can be found in a program, organization, or system that1:
- Realizes the widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery.
- Recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others.
- Responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices.
- Seeks to actively resist retraumatization.”
“The six key principles of nursing and trauma-informed care include1:
- Safety – make sure your patient and family members feel safe, both physically and psychologically.
- Trustworthiness and transparency – trust between patients, staff, and management is vital in building strong relationships.
- Peer support – identify individuals with similar experiences of trauma helps to create safety, builds trust, enhances collaboration, and promotes recovery and healing.
- Collaboration and mutuality – emphasize that all members of the team, including patients, are equal.
- Empowerment, voice, and choice – identify individual strengths and differences and utilize them as the foundation for recovery and healing. Provide the patient with choices and an opportunity to share in the decision-making process, which results in a sense of control.
- Recognition of cultural, historical, and gender issues – set aside cultural stereotypes and biases.”
Nursing and Trauma-Informed Care Require Sensitivity and Compassion
“Unfortunately, traumatic events occur more often in our society than we think. Caring for patients with a history of traumatic life events requires a high level of sensitivity and compassion. Healthcare organizations can assist their staff in navigating delicate and difficult situations by providing educational training, tools, and resources on the trauma-informed care approach.”
Read the full article here: Trauma-informed care.
Koetting, C. (2016). Trauma-Informed Care: Helping Patients with a Painful Past. Journal of Christian Nursing, 33 (4), 206-213.