WICHITA – Stress is a universal reality for first response personnel. Crisis events are emotionally demanding, and even unusual events require the sudden expenditure of energy, intensive thought and exclusive concentration on the situation at hand.
Critical incident stress management training can help provide first responders an organized approach to manage these incidents, which is why Wesley Medical Center is hosting an upcoming training session to help emergency personnel throughout the community better cope with the stress of their roles.
“Resilience training is part of critical incident stress management and is essential for first responders,” said Charissa Jochems, Wesley pastoral care team member. “It helps them develop their coping skills and even thrive in their stressful jobs.”
The impact of a critical incident can include a broad range of physical, emotional and behavioral responses that can negatively affect an individual’s ability to function during or following a critical event. If left untreated, critical incident stress can continue to adversely affect an individual’s well-being long after the event has happened. Adverse events can include the loss of work productivity, loss of confidence and discouragement and could eventually mean leaving the work altogether.
“First responders need to develop a critical incident plan for themselves that offer ongoing support, debriefing and counseling before, during and after serious incidents,” Jochems said. “A good work environment with continued education and management can help minimize adverse effects from a critical incident.”
Wesley is partnering with the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation to provide the four-day conference, which will be held July 21-24 at Wesley Medical Center, 550 N. Hillside, from 8:30am-5:00pm in Cessna conference room.
“It is an unusual opportunity for a city the size of Wichita to host a regional critical incident stress management conference with such a diverse array of classes and nationally recognized faculty,” Jochems said. “Dr. Glenn Schiraldi helped the Pentagon develop resilience training for our armed forces, and he will be here teaching Resilience Training: Psychological Survival Skills for Before, During, and After the Crisis. And Susan Gillpatrick is a well-known crisis planning consultant, and she will be teaching Comprehensive Crisis Preparation and Response for the Workplace.”
The conference will also provide more common stress incident training classes. These classes include Individual Crisis Intervention and Peer Support, which provides support to specific work disciplines (medical, fire, law enforcement, etc.) and Group Crisis Intervention, which provides training and support to medical teams for first responders who have had to work especially difficult cases. The Emotional and Spiritual Care in Disaster class being offered is essential for personnel working on-site at disaster scenes and will be taught by internally recognized traumatologist, Dr. Naomi Paget.
The member rate per conference day is $174 for members of the ICISF and $200 for non-members. For more information about the conference or to register online, please visit www.icisf.org.
Wesley Medical Center is the region’s leading acute care hospital network providing a full range of diagnostic and treatment services for patients throughout Kansas and northern Oklahoma since 1912. As a leader in Overall Recommended Care, Wesley treats more than 24,000 patients annually and delivers more than 6,000 babies – more than any hospital in a 13-state region. Wesley provides the most extensive emergency network in Wichita, with Wesley ER, Wesley West ER and Galichia ER. Wesley owns and operates Galichia Heart Hospital, WESLEYCare Clinics and the Pediatric Center of Kansas. To learn more about Wesley Medical Center, please visit www.wesleymc.com.