What is Critical Incident Stress Debriefing?
Critical Incident Stress Debriefing is a process to provide organizational staff support to teams, small groups and individuals at UW Health. Typically a Critical Incident Stress Debriefing involves those individual directly involved in the event and is an hour long. Essentially it is a group support session to assist in the normal recovery process. It is not a case review or debriefing of the case to find clinical issues or problems, it is a place to find emotional support.
What kind of events would lead to a critical incident debriefing?
- Any event which can overwhelm one’s usual ability to cope
- Moral distress or ethical challenges faced in practice
- Sudden death or critical injury/illness of a co-worker
- Attempted or completed suicide of a co-worker
- Death of a patient after prolonged care or unusual circumstances
- Exposure to violence or assaultive behavior
- Exposure to disasters or casualties
- Events with excessive or intense media coverage
What can the team help me or my staff with?
The team helps with normal the recovery process after a critical incident and does not do psychotherapy or clinical case reviews. The team operates in the inpatient setting primarily. The sessions are to provide an opportunity for peer to peer support for staff to…
- Have a place to find support
- Obtain resources
- Identify red flags
- Talk about self-care
- Provide facilitated support from an organizational standpoint.
- Develop a healthy work environment
Who facilities the critical incidents?
Sessions are facilitated by two team members who have experience in this process. They are done in a timely manner typically 48-72 hours after an event with staff who were directly involved in the incident.
How do I request a critical incident stress debriefing?
Please call the CNS Psychiatric Liaison on call via Paging. They will talk to you about the situation and help you determine if a critical incident stress debriefing is the appropriate intervention.
What do I do for my staff right now, the event just happened and everyone is upset?
The immediate goal after an event is to stabilize staff and continue with normal operations. In some events to maintain operations you may need to mobilize other staffs to assist while some staff takes time to recover. Sometimes staff cannot return to work safely and accommodations should be made. If someone is upset to the point where they are hysterical or experiencing a panic attack they may need to be taken to the emergency department for treatment.
How does this relate to EAP (Employee Assistance Program)?
The Critical Incident Stress Management team does not work for EAP, they work for UW Health. EAP is available 24/7 and often recommended by the team, especially for individual who need support.