Families experiencing a traumatic accident experience significant psychosocial disruption. The traumatic event is sudden and unexpected. Families have no opportunity to prepare themselves emotionally, have limited experience with such catastrophic events, and are overwhelmed by the magnitude of the patient’s injuries. Critical care nurses have an important role in the psychosocial assessment, support, and management of these families. Many critical care nurses are uncomfortable interacting with families with significant psychosocial/emotional needs due to a lack of understanding of their needs, lack of knowledge of how to manage their needs, lack of confidence in communicating with families, and generalized discomfort and awkwardness when confronted with grief and bereavement issues. This article presents important information for critical care nurses to help them understand and manage families psychosocial needs and to feel more confident interacting with these families. Information presented includes (1) impact of the traumatic event, (2) emotional responses, (3) assessment of psychosocial needs, and (4) nursing interventions for the care and management of these families. Special considerations impacting on families’ psychosocial needs, including dysfunctional families, ineffective coping mechanisms, suicide, and the patient’s death, are presented
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Trauma| November 01 1990
Families Experiencing a Traumatic Accident: Implications and Nursing Management
Sandra R. Schlump-Urquhart, RNC, MSN
From MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio.
Reprint requests to Sandra R. Schlump-Urquhart, RNC, MSN, 3395 Scranton Rd, Cleveland, OH 44109.
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AACN Adv Crit Care (1990) 1 (3): 522–534.
Sandra R. Schlump-Urquhart; Families Experiencing a Traumatic Accident: Implications and Nursing Management. AACN Adv Crit Care 1 November 1990; 1 (3): 522–534. doi: https://doi.org/10.4037/15597768-1990-3007
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