Whether it’s a tough conversation with only bad news or patients who are nearing the end and eventually pass away, care professionals are regularly confronted with the emotions of patients and their nearest and dearest. They have developed considerable experience with respect to how to handle emotion – and are accustomed to doing so. That is however not the case if the emotional cause can be attributed to a mistake made by themselves. Care professionals experience feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, shame and even loneliness. Naturally, the patients are the first victims of a medical incident, but the care professionals involved are victims too, the so-called second victims.
This blog describes the interventions that can be applied to support the care professionals involved. Most important is creating a healthcare safety culture, where people can talk openly about incidents.