Trauma. What is it?
To simplify it, it is all of the negative stuff that we carry with us or from which we have been impacted. Sometime we carry it with us continuously, or sometimes we experience flashbacks of these traumatic events in our life. This trauma includes events in your home life, your professional life, your personal life, and/or your interpersonal life.
It’s kind of like the luggage you take with you on vacation. Wherever you go, it goes with you.
Sometimes we will describe it as secondary trauma. This is an acute stress reaction caused from the exposure of an adverse (or traumatic) event. This may include a car accident, a house fire, a natural disaster, a terrorist event, a workplace injury, a harassment situation, or anything else that you may find adverse.
Symptoms may include poor or clouded thinking, increased heart rate/blood pressure/respirations, depression, anxiety, anger, rage, GI upset, shortness of breath, reliving the event, questioning your behaviors, imagining the patient as family, etc.
Help Is Available
Our goal through Peer Check 360 is to bring awareness of struggle that healthcare professionals face on a continuous basis. However, bringing awareness of a problem without bringing a solution is boring at best. Please know that there are MANY organizations out there that want to help and provide support.
An example of a great organization providing a solutions focused, Biblically based option is the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors.
Association of Certified Biblical Counselors:
Trauma is like a Fingerprint
When we explore the response of trauma, everyone’s story and response is different.
Each of our situations are unique.
Our responses, although similar, often feel vastly different.
As our responses are different, we often believe that our responses are wrong. However, that analogy would presume that each of us were made to be robots without an ability to form intelligent thoughts on our own. It would be as if each of us should have an identical response to each situation at all times. This belief would lead us to argue that all situations would then be identical.
- All natural disasters
- All car crashes
- All cardiac arrests
- All physical injury
- All death
For us to believe this would be unrealistic. Even insane.
Just as God created us to be unique and individualized, He also created each situation to be unique, and therefore, each of our experiences is unique.
Unique just like a fingerprint.
I want you to look at your hands at the tips of your fingers. I want you to look specifically at your fingerprint and concentrate on it. Look at the loops. The swirls. The “blemishes”. The “beauty”. The uniqueness. Your fingerprint was crafted, even created, to be special.
You may feel like what you are experiencing is something no one else has encountered. You are correct that no one has experienced your situation just like you are currently experiencing it. However, there are some who have experienced similar situations and want you to know that you are loved and don’t want to see you be alone.
You Are Not Alone
Please know that what you may be experiencing is completely normal as the things we face in healthcare are often just the opposite. You do not have to internalize these thoughts, attitudes, emotions, etc. and carry all of this trauma (baggage) around with you. Learn from others who have been in your shoes and experienced what you are experiencing. We want to help and we are here for you.