Professionals who deal with trauma – first responders, clinical staff, clergy, etc. – are doubly challenged. First, they need to be aware of the psychological trauma that patients and their immediate family may be experiencing and be prepared to respond accordingly. But profound exposure to severe circumstances may also cause associated or even direct trauma to the professionals involved. A firefighter who may not have been able to save a child’s life may interact with the traumatized mother but may also experience trauma over the event themselves. A clinical team which faced a particularly difficult code may suffer trauma as well. At the very least, repeated exposure to such high-stress events can lead to individual and team burnout.
OSU STAR BEST Program – Brief Emotional Support Team Training
OSU STAR assists professionals through specialized training before traumatic exposure happens, and provides direct, temporary emotional support to professionals when needed. Our STAR Brief Emotional Support Team (BEST) program uses evidence-based training and therapy that is customized to assist first responders and healthcare professionals to respond effectively in a crisis while also engaging in skills that build resilience to cope with chronic exposure to stress. BEST training also helps these professionals recognize a patient’s need for trauma recovery services.
If your professional group has recently experienced a traumatic event or if it experiences profound stress regularly, our BEST program can give them the support they need to debrief, defuse and grieve losses. BEST training provides groups of coworkers with a pre-emptive framework to recognize the need for and ways to address trauma amongst themselves. This builds on the relationships that exist within the group and reinforces the healthy support that already exists between them. In-team support has been found to be more effective than critical incident stress debriefings conducted by an outside entity, and BEST training arms groups with tools and skills to develop and nurture a culture of built-in support among peers in the workplace.
Identifying Trauma: A Major Challenge
It might not be readily apparent that a patient is a trauma survivor. They often present with symptoms and behaviors that might not immediately suggest that their underlying condition is trauma-based. In fact, it may be that a high percentage of trauma survivors will not directly seek help for their trauma initially. Our BEST training can help your team recognize and effectively channel survivors toward the support they need.
For a comprehensive list of signs and symptoms of trauma – emotional, cognitive, behavioral and physical – visit Trauma Symptoms List.
For a trauma assessment tool, visit (Coming in the future). Other assessment tools and services are available.
Our BEST program and other services offered by STAR Professional Support Services (PSS) are funded by private contributions. To help support these crucial services, visit Ways to Give.
How to Refer a Patient
Ohio State’s STAR Trauma Recovery Center (TRC) serves adult survivors of crime-related violence when an incident has occurred within a 3 year timeframe. If you believe a patient would benefit our program, contact Arianna Galligher at STARTraumaRecoveryCenter@osumc.edu, or call (614) 293-STAR (7827).
To receive training or support for your group contact:
STAR Professional Support Services (PSS)
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
1670 Upham Drive, Fifth Floor
Hours: Mon. - Fri., 8 am – 5 pm