From burns to cancer and from baby deaths to deaths from old age, Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) teams have been in existence for years.
Most recently, with COVID 19, we have seen an exponential increase in the need to debrief hospital staff, which includes physicians, due to the ever-growing death rate and debilitating effects of COVID 19. Clinicians who witness death and dying on a daily basis can experience psychological effects that can disrupt their daily functioning and can cause anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances. Furthermore it can cause shame, guilt, loss of self-confidence, and feelings of incompetence and worthlessness.
Our Lead Clinician, Adriane Deithorn, has been providing CISD over the past several months to the healthcare professionals at UPMC, Allegheny Health Network, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and Beaver Valley Medical Center.
A critical incident stress debriefing session has several primary goals:
- to reduce stress
- to restore people to adaptive function
- to identify anyone who may need additional assistance or a referral for care.
It has long been recognized that clinical work carries an emotional burden. Healthcare workers are regularly exposed to loss, injury, traumatic stimuli, and undesirable patient outcomes. CISD is considered an effective strategy to promote resilience and recovery.