Invest in a Trauma-Informed Workforce

Train Clinical and Non-Clinical Staff

Providing trauma training is critical for not only clinical, but also non-clinical employees. Non-clinical personnel — such as front-desk workers, security personnel, and drivers — often interact with patients and play an important role in making patients feel welcome and setting the tone of the environment.

Trainings can also help create a welcoming environment, thereby increasing the likelihood that patients will engage in treatment and return for future appointments. Initial trainings for all staff can focus on building awareness, and more advanced training for clinical staff can drill down on how to identify and treat trauma. Organizations can also develop specialized trainings as the need arises, covering priority topics, such as vicarious trauma or nonviolent communication.

Resources

VIDEO SERIES

Trauma-Informed Care Champions: From Treaters to Healers can be used build awareness around trauma-informed care and initiate a staff training or discussion session. CHCS, 2018

Brief

Training Staff in Trauma Treatments: Considerations for Complex Care Providers outlines training strategies for trauma-informed care in health care settings based on the experiences of five complex care programs. CHCS, 2017

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ACEs Connection: Training Resources provides a compendium of training resources shared by a nationwide audience of trauma-informed care practitioners and other stakeholders.

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ACE Interface Train the Master Trainer Program supports organization-wide dissemination and application of ACEs and resilience science through a train-the-trainer model. ACE Interface

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The Empathy Effect provides health care workers with effective models for interacting with patients/clients. Institute for Healthcare Communication, 2018

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National Council for Behavioral Health: Trauma-Informed Care contains staff training resources, as well as a broad array of other foundational tools, for organizations interested in becoming trauma-informed.

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The Sanctuary Model is a theory-based approach to changing and sustaining a trauma-informed organizational culture.

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Traumatic Stress Institute supports organizations and delivery systems in the transformation to trauma-informed care through professional training and coaching. Select trainings include: Whole-System Change Model to Trauma-Informed Care, Risking Connection Trauma Training, and Restorative Approach Training.

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Trauma Transformed is a regional center and clearinghouse that offers trainings and policy guidance to delivery systems interested in adopting trauma-informed approaches to care. East Bay Agency for Children

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Cultural Humility: A Key Element of Trauma-Informed Care contains information about how cultural humility training can support health care practitioners in delivering trauma-informed care. CHCS, 2017

Prevent Secondary Traumatic Stress in Staff

Working with patients who have experienced trauma puts both clinical and non-clinical staff at risk for secondary traumatic stress. Secondary traumatic stress (also called vicarious trauma) — results from hearing about others’ trauma experiences — can lead to a range of symptoms, including disturbing thoughts, poor concentration, emotional exhaustion, absenteeism, and physical illness, among others. Many in the “helping professions” have their own trauma histories, which may be exacerbated by working with others who have experienced trauma. As a result, staff may struggle to provide high-quality care to patients and experience burnout, ultimately leading to staff turnover.

Ignoring Trauma in the Practice Setting can Cause Patient and Provider Frustration

Explore additional videos addressing the benefits of trauma-informed care. LEARN MORE »

Resources

fact sheet

Creating Safe Health Care Environments for Patients and Staff provides examples of how modest investments can create a more welcoming environment for both patients and staff. CHCS, 2018

brief

Strategies for Encouraging Staff Wellness in Trauma-Informed Organizations outlines the impact of chronic work-related stress and features two organizations that prioritize staff wellness. CHCS, 2016

fact sheet

Protecting Physician Wellness: Working With Children Affected by Traumatic Events provides a statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics about the impact of provider compassion fatigue. American Academy of Pediatrics, 2014

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Encouraging Staff Wellness in Trauma-Informed Organizations highlights the impact of chronic emotional stress upon staff, and shares how organizations can promote staff wellness. CHCS, 2016

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Professional Quality of Life Measure  assesses for secondary traumatic stress and burnout for health care professionals. Center for the Victims of Torture, 2012

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Psychological Trauma and the Integrated Care Team  trains medical and behavioral health primary care team members to address the potential role of trauma on a patient’s health and strategies for developing a care plan. University of Colorado, 2018

fact sheet

Secondary Traumatic Stress: A Fact Sheet for Child-Serving Professionals  outlines how individuals experience secondary traumatic stress, explains who is at risk, and provides strategies for prevention and intervention. National Child Traumatic Stress Network, 2011

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Transforming Compassion Fatigue into Compassion Satisfaction offers 12 self-care tips for those in the “helping professions,” including health care providers. National Council for Behavioral Health, 2007

Hire a Trauma-Informed Workforce

Hiring employees who embrace the values of trauma-informed care is key to creating and sustaining changes to organizational culture. Organizations should consider hiring staff who have similar life experiences to the patient population, have participated in trainings on trauma-informed care, and/or exhibit personality characteristics and values central to trauma-informed care.

Resources

FACT SHEET

Hiring a Trauma-Informed Workforce shares tips on how to identify new employees who align with trauma-informed values and approaches to care. CHCS, 2018

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Policy Guidance for Trauma-Informed Human Resources Practices describes how to apply trauma-informed principles to throughout the stages of employment and when reviewing human resource issues. Missouri Trauma Roundtable, Missouri Department of Mental Health, 2017

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Trauma-Informed Care Interview Questions provides sample interview questions to help organizations assess how a potential employee my fit into an organization that’s pursuing trauma-informed approaches. National Council for Behavioral Health, 2016

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