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What is "Trauma Informed"

Adopting trauma-informed practices can potentially improve patient engagement, treatment adherence, and health outcomes, as well as provider and staff wellness. The term ‘Trauma-Informed’ has become an important term in care and healing practices. There is some belief that treatment is enough if it treats the injury in front of them but as our knowledge of trauma deepens we become more aware of its impact. We now know that sometimes care must be taken in helping those who have suffered a traumatic experience. Trauma-informed care shifts the focus from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” A trauma-informed approach to care acknowledges that health care organizations and care teams need to have a complete picture of a patient’s life situation — past and present — in order to provide effective health care services with a healing orientation.

Clinicians are in a helping profession because they recognize that people are important, their stories are important and want to maximize the difference they can make in that person’s life for the better. Trauma-Informed Care as a principle indicates that it is more than the clinicians that need to be aware of their effects on patient care. It is just as important for every staff member, from clinicians to maintenance and administrative personnel to be aware of the impact their words and behaviors may have on patients.

Trauma-informed care seeks to:

  • Realize the widespread impact of trauma and understand paths for recovery;

  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma in patients, families, and staff;

  • Integrate

knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices; and

  • Actively avoid re-traumatization with the help of a patient being in the center of their recovery

Trauma is a difficult topic for discussion in most cases but during the treatment process it becomes even more difficult as people have to process the event out loud with another person not of their profession. These experiences come from exposure to an incident or series of events that are emotionally disturbing or life-threatening with lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, and/or spiritual well-being.

Experiences that may be traumatic include:

  • Exposure to tragedy and trauma or perceived threats to life in the course of your operational duties

  • Chronic exposure to potentially traumatic events in your profession

  • Loss of the feeling of having the support of colleagues or management in dealing with trauma within your profession

  • Feeling that your own personal morals are at odds with the duties you have to perform in your profession

Personal exposure to:

  • Physical, sexual, and emotional abuse

  • Childhood neglect

  • Living

with a family member with mental health or substance use disorders

  • Sudden, unexplained separation from a loved one

  • Poverty

  • Racism, discrimination, and oppression

  • Violence in the community, war, or terrorism

We at OSI-CAN do not see PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a Disorder, we see it as an Injury you can recover from. If you are suffering from the symptoms of an Operational Stress Injury, then a PTSD or PTSI diagnosis is not required to get our help!

OSI-CAN Target Demographic The target demographic of OSI-CAN are but are not limited to: former and serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Allied Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Frontline Protectors --- which include Municipal Police Services, CN Police Services, Emergency Medical Services, Fire Protection Services, Wildland Firefighters, Hospital Trauma personnel, Nurses, healthcare Workers, Social Workers, Animal Control Officers, Coroners, Indigenous Emergency Management, Victim Services Personnel, Emergency Communications Specialist, Corrections Officers, “Volunteer” First Responders, Conservation Officers, Aboriginal Emergency Services personnel, Tow Truck drivers who clean up accident scenes, Persons who in the performance of their jobs are exposed to criminal acts of Trauma like Prosecutors as one example, and their spouses/partners. This demographic was chosen due to the commonality of experiences they share through the service they provide to the country and community. We have a special interest and support volunteer first responders as they are not eligible for programs such as Workers' Compensation.

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