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Critical Incident Stress Management

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Person Interviewed: Ashley Harrison.
Profession: Physician's Assistant (Clincials Student/ Intern)
Time/ Date: 9/18/2017 @ 6PM

Do you feel that Critical Incident Stress Management is important in your profession?

Do you feel that it is effective, in general?

Have you yourself had an experience with CISM?

How would you explain the process of diffusing and debriefing?

Do you think the 3 step process is the best way to handle CISM?

What is the best advice you would give to someone just starting out in your position about dealing with loss and death?


Yes, because depending on the field you are in, you deal with stress daily and you need to be able to manage stress to effectively do your job and help the patient

Yes, it is effective because I am able to manage my stress levels and help my patient to the best of my ability.

During my schooling we were able to watch an autopsy which really first showed me how to manage my stress, I had actually heard about the person on the news and realized during the autopsy it was the same person. It was hard to wrap my head around that just hours earlier this person was living and just in seconds their life was taken from them leading them to the hospital. I had to remain calm and remember that we were doing this to give the family closure that their family member did not suffer.

Diffusing is used to reassure the person that it is normal to be feeling what you are feeling and show them that you felt the same even though it might not have shown (the day of the event), Debriefing is to go over coping mechanisms and still reassuring them that their feelings are normal and going over policies that might apply to the situation (this is done usually a few days after the incident)

Every person and facility are different. For the most part it is effective with almost all cases.

Be prepared for it, because it will eventually happen. In a perfect world we could save everyone but just know that you did all you could and that's all that matters. It will be normal for the first few losses to be the hardest but it will get easier with time.

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