Transporting the injured from the scene in Aurora was just the first step.

From there, they were received by the caring arms of the Nurses and medical staff in various Denver hospitals.

That early morning, survivors began the long and hard journey towards recovery.

And standing beside them are Nurses. Nurses who see first-hand the physical pain of survivors and the emotional pain of survivors, their families and their friends.

Nurses, too, must process their own grief as they struggle to understand this tragedy and support those whose survival is now in their hands.

Eric Young, Jr., a second baseman and outfielder for the Colorado Rockies who recently visited survivors in the hospital, said it best:

To hear more about tragic events such as Aurora from a Nursing perspective, I headed to Nurse Keith Carlson’s Nursing blog Digital Doorway.

Nurse Keith has written a beautiful post entitled “Of Tragedy, Heroism and Recovery.” While you’ll have to click on the link to see all of his thoughts and reflections, I thought I’d highlight some of his strongest statements here.

When events like this occur in our midst, we frequently do not consider the impact that it has on the first responders who initially respond to such traumatic events, as well as the hospital staff, surgeons and nurses who deal with the (often prolonged and painful) aftermath.

Since I’m a nurse who coaches and advises nurses on self care, burnout prevention and overall health and wellness, I’d like to take a moment to consider how nurses and their healthcare colleagues themselves react to such traumatic events, especially when standing on the front lines.

In the case of the Aurora massacre, one can only imagine what might be going through the minds of the nurses and other staff members of the hospitals on the receiving end of the racing ambulances. Were their friends and neighbors among the dead or injured? Would a colleague be one of the critical patients rushed from the scene in need of life-saving assistance? How would it feel to see a favorite teacher or local barista bloodied and fighting for her life as the sirens announced their arrival through the emergency department doors?

The ripple of trauma is wide in a scenario such as Aurora, and we hope that the paramedics, nurses, surgeons and others who treated—and are still treating—the injured are taking care of themselves even as they care for those in need of their professional skills and expertise.

Those frontline medical personnel need to remember to hydrate well, eat nutritious food, take time for self care, practice good sleep hygiene, and spend time away from work where the stresses of this traumatic event can be briefly set aside. For those who are prone to give until it hurts—and then give some more—it’s a high priority to get away, debrief with friends, family and colleagues, and allow the nervous system to recalibrate.
Nurse Keith has posted some really great tips and suggestions on his blog. What I have posted above is only a small slice of the insights he provides in his post. Please click here to read it in its entirety.
My sincere thanks to Nurse Keith for allowing me to discuss his tips and insights in this blog post. 


California Casualty

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