TRUST: Second Victims’ Five Human Rights

March 23, 2012 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


The healthcare industry has a “moral imperative to change this culture of abandonment, isolation, and punishment of second victims to a culture that provides accessible and effective support,” according to an article in the February issue of Nursing 2012. Staff experience “emotional turmoil” even in the absence of errors (e.g., when a patient or resident dies); when they are involved in an error that leads to death or serious injury, they may suffer “complex psychological harm,” the author writes. Involvement in an error affects staff members’ professional, social, and private lives. Therefore, organizations should establish support initiatives for second victims, the article states. Staff must be informed of available resources, know how to access them, and be willing to accept help.

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