Individuals working in emergency services, like child welfare, firefighting, paramedics and policing, are routinely exposed to high stress situations and incidents involving violence, conflict and the witnessing of others’ pain and suffering. For many workers, these events can take a toll on their psychological, social and physical well-being. Despite the high incidence of traumatic symptoms amongst emergency workers, little is known about how traumatic stress and depressive symptoms can impact professional performance and decision-making, especially during acutely stressful events.
In this knowledge hub, you will find research investigating how work-related exposure to specific traumatic or critical events and ongoing experience of stressful working conditions affect worker’s ability to properly engage in complex decision making and risk assessment. Explore how coping styles, feelings of being in control, ability to sustain supportive relationships with others, and organizational factors like workload, union support and public scrutiny can be associated with an ability to manage stressful events.
Consider how different training techniques might allow for emergency response effectiveness despite an individual’s experience of post-trauma symptoms. You can also learn about how targeted therapeutic interventions can foster an ability to manage high stress experiences and decrease trauma related symptoms.
Public and worker safety depends on the ability of emergency workers to perform effectively in potentially traumatising situations. Research found in this knowledge hub can assist us in re-configuring training interventions and systems of support to make this happen.