If you are working at an ongoing scene, you might be wondering how critical incident stress management can help. You can find resources to help you understand how critical incident stress works, the physiologic response to it, Interventions to be done immediately and the benefits of one-on-one meetings. There are many types of critical incident stress management. Read on to learn about them. Listed below are some of the most common and helpful ones.
Resources to provide CISM
In order to improve your ability to effectively respond to critical incidents, you need to know about the resources that are available. You may need to use your local emergency medical services team or law enforcement to obtain CISM services. The CISM network may contain training provided by local emergency services organizations. Other resources include educational institutions, community agencies, and emergency response teams. For national or international resources, you should contact the ICISF.
If you have an existing Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) team, you should consider using them to provide informal one-on-one assistance. These meetings are meant to give individuals a confidential space to share their experiences, provide education, and provide referral services. Peer support meetings can be conducted during or after a tour of duty. They can be initiated by a CISM Team member or by participants themselves.
Physiological responses to critical incident stress
Critical incidents are situations where an emergency responder must cope with extreme stress and emotional turmoil. Such events may involve tragedy, death, or potentially life-threatening situations. Physiological responses to critical incident stress management are essential for a responder’s safety and well-being. While prolonged exposure to critical incidents can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, most instances of critical incident stress last between two and four weeks.
These physiological responses may be beneficial in the short-term but can be problematic in the long-term. For example, prolonged exposure to high-stress environments can lead to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and even mental-health issues. Regardless of the specific circumstances, officers should be trained to manage their physiological responses and the resulting effects on their bodies. In addition to understanding the impact of such situations, officers should consider incorporating bio sampling into their training.
Interventions performed within a few hours of a critical incident
While critical incidents usually result in the death of innocent people, they can also cause significant injuries and deaths. Interventions performed within a few hours of an ongoing scene can help mitigate these risks. They include education and support for spouses of responders. Many first responders say they wish their spouses had known about the nature of their job. Crisis management briefings can provide this information. Bringing the spouses of responders together is also important, as it reinforces the natural support system that exists between the two. In addition to education, formal recognition of work and efforts may be appropriate. Make eye contact and show gratitude to people who respond to critical incidents.
The psychological effects of critical incidents are profound. Stress can be overwhelming and potentially life threatening, and the reactions that follow may be difficult to manage. Stress can lead to a reduction in wellbeing and unrealistic demands. In order to effectively manage critical incident stress, at least one member of a team should receive specialist training to reduce the impact of these situations on workers. While interventions performed within a few hours of an ongoing scene may be ineffective, they can help workers deal with their negative emotions and regain their composure.
One-on-one meetings held after a critical incident
The importance of holding one-on-one meetings after a critical incident cannot be overstated. Critical incidents can cause a wide variety of physical and psychological effects on the responders. This is why demobilisation – a meeting held after an incident to provide workers with a chance to rest, get information, and take time out – is essential. A meeting should be convened as soon as possible, and should include a brief discussion of the incident and any concerns that may have arisen. Psychological First Aid may be provided as well.
After a critical incident, FLSs should establish a plan for how to effectively communicate the situation to the civilian population. The FLSs should inform the civilian media and supervisors about the situation. FLSs should maintain a scribe at the scene, document the arrival of resources, and note any major actions that may have occurred. Once these meetings have been completed, the responders should return to the scene, gather information, and reassure the civilians.