The authors of this qualitative study analyze Israeli hospital social workers' emotional responses to working with civilian casualties in the wake of an unprecedented surge of terrorist violence. Data are based on four focus groups conducted with 38 hospital social workers in relation to their experience with clients in the emergency room. Three themes were identified: (a) Restoring a lost sense of personal security as a necessary stepping-stone toward resuming professional performance, (b) Meeting the families' pain and responding to it, and (c) Disconnecting emotionally in the service of the professional self. The authors discuss the findings in light of the literature on peritraumatic dissociation among helpers.
- First responders
- Social workers
- Vicarious traumatization
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health