Caring for emergency service personnel : does what we do work?

Shakespeare-Finch, Jane E., Wehr, Todd, Kaiplinger, Ilse, & Daley, Emma (2014) Caring for emergency service personnel : does what we do work? In 2014 Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference: Book of Proceedings - Peer Reviewed, Association for Sustainability in Business Inc., QT Hotel Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, QLD, pp. 1-20.

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Most emergency service organisations have some form of staff support program that share general aims of promoting and maintaining the mental health of their workforce. Yet few of these services have been subject to evaluation and fewer still have commissioned external professional researchers to scrutinise their programs. The Queensland Ambulance (QAS) Service provides a comprehensive and multifaceted program that is both proactive and reactive in design and with the support of the Commissioner, was the subject of a rigorous evaluation throughout 2013. In this paper the program services are briefly outlined and the considered approach to the evaluation is presented within the context of existing scientific literature. Using focus groups, information regarding the uptake of the program’s various ‘arms’, and survey data, results suggest the program is widely used and that staff are very satisfied with the services provided. Further, analysis of established psychometric measures demonstrated organisational and interpersonal factors that are important in the promotion of mental health and in warding off the deleterious impacts that frontline emergency service staff can endure. Data presented in this paper indicate how best to ensure a professional quality of life for ambulance personnel, how to promote resilience to the sometimes extremely challenging aspects of the work role, and ways in which difficulties such as depression may be minimised.

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ID Code: 73083
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: staff support services, employee assistance programs, well-being, trauma, evaluation
ISBN: 978-1-922232-13-7
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Industrial and Organisational Psychology (170107)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > Centre for Emergency & Disaster Management
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 26 Jun 2014 22:20
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2017 14:47

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