Date of Award

Fall 1990

Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




In this essay reviews traumatic stress as it is related to health care work will be reviewed. Stressors and potential causes of traumatic stress in health care workers are identified and discussed. Theoretical models of traumatic stress (including Horowitz's stress response syndrome, Green, Wilson and Lindy's psychosocial model, and Kolb's biologic theory) are presented and critiqued. Characteristics of health care worker, their education and socialization, along with characteristics of the hospital environment, are presented in relation to the contribution to development of traumatic stress responses. Both individual and group intervention strategies for assisting the health care worker with traumatic stress are presented. Mitchell's CISD process and Bergman and Queen's debriefing process are described and evaluated. Conclusions regarding the impact of traumatic stress on the individual health care worker and the organizations that employ them are presented. Research implications and the potential contribution nurses with advanced preparation can make to the effort are included.