Secondary Posttraumatic Stress and Nurses' Emotional Responses to Patient's Trauma

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Abstract

Alarmingly high percentages of secondary posttraumatic stress have been reported in several nursing domains such as critical care and emergency nursing, oncology, pediatric nursing, mental health nursing, and midwifery. The purpose of this review is to examine and describe nurses' emotional responses in the face of their exposure to patients' trauma. Lack of understanding of the dynamics of trauma may limit nurses' ability to interact in a meaningful and safe way with patients and their families. Spirituality can be a precious compass in the long-term journey of resolving feelings of grief and loss at work and of building a strong professional identity.

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