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Identifying and Managing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Front-line Workers

PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a set of reactions that can occur after someone has been through a traumatic event.

The common symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder are :-

  1. Reliving the traumatic experience that was the basis of stress in the form of flashbacks, thoughts or nightmares.

  2. Hyper-vigilance where one is aware and in an aroused mode like one would be when faced with a situation of serious stress a fight or flight mode.

  3. Inability to deal with emotions.

  4. Avoiding certain scenarios due to fear that triggers the emotional focal point of the event.

  5. Inability to deal with emotions.

Why pandemic was tougher for front-line workers

It is safe to say that on a daily basis they are in situations that are challenging. They are responsible for the life of other people which is very taxing. On a daily basis they are dealing with situations that scare others. It would be an understatement to say that it's a high pressure job.

Front-line workers are someone who in their everyday life face scenarios that are high risk and challenging. Certain events might leave them very vulnerable and the entire pandemic is a proof for it. Situations like shutting off the ventilator when the person has gone in a vegetative state can leave them emotionally dented.

What makes matters worse that even in current times is that they do not get the appreciation or the credit they deserve from the rest of the people. Add the massive interference from the senior members, with an environment that's always chaotic. The entire thing becomes extremely toxic for them.

PTSD a state that is manageable

There are ways to manage PTSD in a positive way that gives the patient required need and support to lead a life in spite of all the factors we have discussed and ways that make things much more better for them.

Firstly, have a proper chain of command. Everyone who is working should be knowing the job that they are doing which will happen through proper delegation through proper chain of command.

Also, have clear metrics on when a tough call is to be made. It does not make the decision easy but it helps in not making it more chaotic and emotionally challenging.

Once we get the workplace sorted and proper chain of command what we can do is take measures that help in recovery. Having someone who loves you and cares for you is a feeling that makes everyone more optimistic about life. Studies suggest support from peers and co-workers show good signs of recovery in cases of PTSD.

Key Takeaway for everyone.

Post traumatic stress disorder needs care and support. While Refresh Psychiatry & Therapy is constantly creating a difference on their end in Davie to everyone who is reading this, kindly see that there are people living in a community where people risk their lives to do their jobs . Front-line workers are heroes and they all deserve love and respect from each and everyone of us. So next time you see a nurse while getting your routine check-up smile and thank her. That alone will make a huge difference.

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