Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of nursing care quality


BACKGROUND: Second victims (SVs) are health care workers traumatized by unanticipated, adverse patient events. These experiences can have personal and professional effects on SVs. Research indicates that SVs experience inadequate support following adverse events.

PURPOSE: To determine the prevalence of nurses who identified as SVs and their awareness and use of supportive resources.

METHODS: A convenience sample of nurses was surveyed, and SV responses were compared with those who did not identify as a SV. Responses were analyzed using nonparametric methods.

RESULTS: One hundred fifty-nine (44.3%) of 359 participants identified as SVs. There was a significant relationship between work tenure and SVs (P = .009). A relationship was found between SVs and awareness and use of support resources, with debriefing being the preferred method after an event.

CONCLUSIONS: Adverse events trigger emotional trauma in SVs who require administrative awareness, support, and follow-up to minimize psychological trauma in the clinical nurse.

PubMed ID



ePub ahead of print



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