At times, the stress and strain of dealing with people in crisis may lead to what is called secondary trauma, commonly known as burnout. Secondary trauma occurs when crisis workers are negatively impacted after repeated exposure to survivors’ stories about disasters, crises, or traumas. Crisis workers might be particularly susceptible to secondary trauma when they have to meet with many survivors over the course of a few days, as in the case of a shooting in a public place. It is important that crisis workers and crisis response organizations become familiar with the signs and symptoms of secondary trauma so that they can prevent and alleviate burnout in the field.
To prepare for this Discussion:
Focus on some of the contributing factors related to burnout among crisis workers.
Consider effective strategies that individuals and/or organizations might employ to prevent and/or alleviate burnout.
Identify two factors that might lead to burnout among crisis workers. Think about why such factors may result in burnout.
Consider how individuals and organizations might prevent or reduce burnout through the use of specific intervention strategies.