Adverse Medical Events/Critical Incidents - How to Cope
Have you been involved in an adverse medical event?
A Perioperative death or catastrophe, or the unexpected death of a colleague, can be devastating for the nurse anesthetist or student nurse anesthetist. The first step is awareness of the impact a critical incident or adverse event can have on your well-being and to understand the typical emotional and physical responses:
- Negative self-image
- Massive emotional impact
- Anger syndromes
- Fatigue syndromes
- Common reactions list (MITSS)
Health professionals recommend seeking emotional support, such as peer support, self-help groups, or professional counseling. Does your workplace have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)? If not, talk to your personal healthcare provider for recommendations on counseling and support and see the following resources.
You are not alone - for assistance contact
AANA Peer Assistance Helpline
Email comments, concerns, or recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Related Content: 2018 Jan Stewart Memorial Lecture: Another Day of Surgery: Lessons at the Sharp End of Care (1.75 CE) to understand the connection and role that peer support programs can have on adverse medical events.
- For support, contact the AANA Peer Assistance Helpline (800) 654-5167
- Guidelines for Critical Incident Stress Management
- Point-of-Contact Assessment of Nurse Anesthetists' Knowledge and Perceptions of Management of Anesthesia-Related Critical Incidents, AANA Journal 2017
- Unintended Awareness During General Anesthesia
- See also Emotional and Mental Well-Being and Wellness in the Workplace for more information
- See AANA Thrive for resources.
- Wellness Milestone Articles
- Download Adverse Event Card 2019
Medically Induced Trauma Support Services (MITSS)
- The Joint Commission
- Fatal Mistakes, The Journal of Advanced Practice Nursing 2017
- Faculty Programs
- Health Leaders Media:
- The International Critical Incident Stress Foundation
- Peer Support: Healthcare Professionals Supporting Each Other After Adverse Medical Events, BMJ 2008
- Program Helps Caregivers Under Stress After Errors, Baltimore Sun 2015
- Respectful Management of Serious Clinical Adverse Events, 2011
- Responding to Patient Safety Incidents: The "Seven Pillars", IHI 2008
Note: Links to external sites are provided as a convenience and do not imply endorsement. AANA Health and Wellness is not responsible for any content on these websites but hopes they help support your well-being.