Special training to help NHS staff in North Lincolnshire through trauma of Covid-19

NHS trauma covid

Special training to help NHS staff in North Lincolnshire through trauma of Covid-19

Healthcare staff in North Lincolnshire are being trained in psychological first aid designed for use in war to help NHS colleagues through the pandemic.

Staff at Scunthorpe Hospital, as well as those who work in the community, are being trained in psychological first aid.

It was originally designed for big traumas such as war, natural disasters and terrorist attacks, but has been found to be useful during coronavirus.

It provides people with the tools to help others feel safe, secure and supported following shock or trauma and help them with their recovery.

Clinical Psychologist, Dr Gail Meadows, said: “When someone faces a trauma or shock, we never know how they will react.

“Since the start of the pandemic, normal coping strategies have been taken away from people, such as visiting friends and family for support.

“Currently, staff are more psychologically and emotionally vulnerable than ever before, so the chances of them becoming traumatised increases.

“Staff who are trained in psychological first aid will be able to identify what is a normal, manageable reaction and when there is concern and to know the steps which need taking to look after someone.”

Those trained are also taught how to pick up on signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), burnout and unhealthy coping strategies.

They are taught not to put pressure on their colleagues or make them relive their experiences, but how to start conversations to begin to understand any help they may need.

The training encourages staff to speak to their colleagues, checking in with them to make sure they’re looking after themselves.

It explains the first month after a triggering event is important – that’s when they will see a natural recovery or problems beginning to appear. They are taught to look out for changes in personality or absences from the staff.

So far, more than 70 staff have completed the training and this number is increasing as training sessions continue throughout the year.

Photo: Vladimir Fedotov

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