Secondary traumatic stress on firemen: The outcome of psychosocial work risk

Proceedings of The 5th International Conference on Research in Behavioral and Social Science

Year: 2018


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Secondary traumatic stress on firemen: The outcome of psychosocial work risk

Brenda L. Alarcón Hernández , Ana R. Cervantes Herrera



The secondary traumatic stress (STS´S) is a term that has been used on scientific literature to refer as a secondary traumatization, as consequence of an indirect exposition to stressful events due to the work-related activities. Especially those who work providing any emergency care services are in high risk to develop this issue and experiment its manifestations that put in risk the physical and psychological integrity not only of the professional himself or herself, but also the user.It’s important to mention that in Mexico only one research has been found documenting this issue. Taking this in to account, the objective of this paper was to identify the prevalence on the STS’S symptoms observed on 191 workers of the fire department of Ciudad Juarez. This city was cataloged as the most violent city worldwide; this violent environment increases the psychosocial risk factor. Results show that 84.6% of the sample experiments medium levels of secondary trauma.The most frequent symptoms reported are: self-questioning of beliefs, loss of ideals, incapacity to generate positive emotions, and to feel that the work overwhelms them emotionally and physically because of the work overload and the lack of time for recovering from one patient to the other.A point to highlight is that, despite all the symptomatology mentioned before, the evaluated firemen have not been absent to work nor exist high levels of rotation in the department which differs to other fieldworks in countries abroad; implications of this results are discussed.

Keywords: Secondary traumatic stress, Psychosocial risk factor, firemen department, Emergency care services.