CPD activities for understanding workplace trauma post-pandemic

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These CPD activities relate to Noreen Tehrani’s OHW+ webinar ‘Workplace trauma post-pandemic‘, held on Tuesday 18 May 2021, as well as her accompanying article, with Lorraine Anderson-Cole, ‘The role of screening and surveillance in occupational health‘.

In their article, Noreen and Lorraine emphasise the point that there is a legal requirement to undertake psychological surveillance of employees working in roles which pose a significant recognised risk to mental health. In the webinar, Noreen also makes the argument for organisations to become ‘trauma informed’ and more proactive in dealing with these challenges.

Webinar slides

Download here (PDF)

Occupational health practitioners are not immune to the impact of their work, with some experiencing high levels of clinical symptoms including anxiety, depression, traumatic stress and burnout.

Online psychological screening and surveillance is an effective way to identify workers in need of support, Noreen and Lorraine argue, adding: “But it is also important to differentiate between psychological health surveillance, which measures clinical symptoms that may require treatment, and hazard surveillance, which identifies factors that indicate an increased vulnerability to developing psychological ill health where there is a need to address the impact of the hazard.”

These activities are designed to help you better understand the impact of trauma in the workplace, whether post pandemic or otherwise, and how best to manage and support workers coping with the effects of traumatic experiences.

Activity 1

Access these TED talks to gain a greater appreciation of the effects of PTSD and a better understanding of compassion fatigue.

Understanding PTSD’s effects on brain, body and emotions –  Janet Seahorn, TED/CSU
Burnout and post-traumatic stress disorder – Dr Geri Puleo, TED/Seton Hill University

How to manage compassion fatigue in caregiving – Patricia Smith, TED/San Juan Island
Compassion fatigue: What is it and do you have it? – Juliette Watt, TED/Fargo

Activity 2

Read this paper and then consider your own work. How can you introduce measurement and evaluation? How could you share your findings with others?

Sicily statement on evidence-based practice – Dawes M et al, 2005.

Activity 3

Access the HSE management standards relating to stress and work. Reflect on the six key areas incorporated within these standards and how they relate to the content of today’s webinar. Elements to consider include the impact of: job demands, effective control of work responsibilities, organisational support, working relationships and promoting positive working environments avoiding conflict and dealing with unacceptable behaviour; job role; change management.

What are the management standards?

Activity 4

Read the Society of Occupational Medicine’s systematic review. Consider workplace factors that were found to adversely affect the mental health of nurses and midwives then add to that the psychological impact of the experiences of Covid -19 on nurses and midwives. Relate this to the material covered in today’s webinar, particularly in relation to PTSD.

The Mental Health and Wellbeing of Nurses and Midwives in the UK – Prof Gail Kinman, Dr Kevin Teoh and Prof Anne Harriss, July 2020

Activity 5

Identify any element of the webinar that has an overlap with your own practice. Think how you might reflect on this association as part of your next NMC revalidation.

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