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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 135984 Find in a Library
Title: Critical Incident Stress
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:19  Issue:3  Dated:(March 1992)  Pages:22,24,26-27
Author(s): E Kirschman
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 4
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Critical incident stress is common among emergency service personnel and, if handled properly, can prevent the development of full-blown post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Abstract: One authority reports that 86 percent of all emergency service personnel experience some discomforting reactions following a critical incident, but only 4 to 10 percent will develop a severely debilitating PTSD. The standard diagnostic manual on mental disorders does not list critical incident stress, but trauma specialists consider it to be a normal response to an abnormal event with acute symptoms that will taper off or disappear within 4 to 6 weeks if promptly and properly addressed. Therefore, supervisors should learn to recognize critical incidents, take an interest in the well-being of personnel, have a mental health/employee support program in place, and use the measures recommended by the American Critical Incident Stress Foundation during a critical incident. Following the incident, command personnel should come to the scene; talk reassuringly with involved officers; and, within 24 to 72 hours of the incident, schedule a structured, confidential conversation facilitated by a mental health professional, often with peer support, for individuals and/or groups. Source of further information
Main Term(s): Critical incident stress; Stress management
Index Term(s): Behavior under stress; Emergency services training; Post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD)
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