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dispatchers suffer from PTSD

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The article “Emergency dispatchers suffer from symptoms of PTSD hits one main point: people are able to experience the significant level of emotional stress at work even when they are not physically damaged or involved in the traumatic situation. An article presents the statistics on the commonly identified worst calls that are most likely to provoke the stressful situation for 911 dispatchers. Usually we think that people who go to such a stressful job are supposed to know from the beginning the stress that they are going to face with. Usually those people are very stress stable; barely anything can make their heart to speed up. However, that is not usually the case. The dispatchers are still humans; therefore, they are vulnerable as humans are. According with the article, the worst calls that are most likely to cause the post-traumatic stress disorders are death of a child, suicidal phone calls, shooting involving officers and incidents that involve unexpected death of an adult.  In fact, in case of an accident, we all think about psychological and physical conditions of people directly involved in it, leaving behind people who are not directly involved but still think and help during the accident. The research made helps us better understand the risks associated with emergency jobs and, probably, to improve working conditions of those people.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. johnwmanning
    April 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    I like how this article focuses on a part of emergency response that most people forget about. We put a lot of research and attention to the responders themselves, because they are the ones who have to deal with the situations, but what about the people who are affected in other ways? I feel bad for the dispatchers because they are the last hope for most people in trouble. I can only imagine how stressful it is when someone calls from inside a burning house, a witness or victim of some sort of attack, or any other type of devastating situation. While they may not be the ones running into the building, they are the ones who have to listen to the cries and screams. Doing PTSD research for dispatchers could be very beneficial for the emergency response field. Not only will it help the dispatchers with PTSD, but it could also set up new types of training and protocols to help future callers and dispatchers.

  2. April 9, 2012 at 2:49 am

    I’m curious if there is any sort of psychological evaluation, I’m sure it is but to what extent, and if there is any sort of psychological training involved. By this I mean training akin to what burgeoning psychologists receive before treating patients. By being better able to distance themselves from a problem emotionally, as callous as it may seem and as psychologists are recommended to, they are better able to logically evaluate a situations to achieve the best outcome. It must be difficult to disassociate oneself from the scenario at hand, but I assume that’s what they do on a general basis. I think that prevalence of PTSD in emergency response callers is not something most people would initially consider, but it makes sense once you consider what they deal with.

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