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08 Dec 2005

Stress of police men and paramedics
My husband is in the police force and worked last night. He came home telling me how he witnessed a terrible accident. A bakkie went over a railroad, did not see the train coming and the train hit the bakkie with four small children inside. The driver and all of the children has terrible brain injuries and my husband told me that one little girl's whole face was disfigured and smashed in and he saw how she struggled for breath because her lungs were injured. This incident is all over the newspapers today. The stress of police men and paramedics is incredibly high, as they also witness suicide, murders, shootings and other terrible incidents.
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Hello Friend,
SOme of us have had closely similar experiences, and it's true that people tend to ignore the stresses that impact on such health and security / police workers. And whereas some such tragedies enter into each of our lives, for such professionals, their JOB is to attend to such tragedies much of the time. Where there is sensible management ( sadly, a minority of situations ) provision should be made for some counselling or at least for opportunities to blow off steam safely in a safe seting ; and to recognize when someone is getting burned out and needs a break. We cope by trying to avoid getting too personally involved at an emotional level, and concentrating instead on the extent to which we can be helpful. I remember even in the major car crash i was injured in, when I woke up, not realizing I had been concussed, or that my left arm was shattered, I stood up and started trying to help others who had been injured, until the ambulance personnel persuaded me to lie down on a stretcher and get taken to hospital myself. The satisfaction of being useful in some way, is a great help in such situations, and can at least put one in a better situation than civilians / law people who may suffer additional trauma from feeling helpless and useless.
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