Tag Archives: psychological first aid

Switching Operating Systems

I really like my iPhone. I’ve owned three smartphones – they’ve all been iPhones. I know the iPhone operating system so well that I can work that elegant little machine one-handed in my sleep. Give me any other phone operating system and I will turn into a slow and clumsy boofhead: nothing falls to hand, nothing is intuitive, nothing looks the same.

If I use my iPhone I’m proficient and confident. If I’m handed anything that’s not an iPhone I’m plodding and anxious.

It’s been like that at work this week.

Obligatory PPE Selfie

Queensland is one of the rare places in the world that pretty-much eliminated the COVID-19 pandemic for nearly 2 years. That gave time for every adult Queenslander to receive at least two doses of the vaccine, if they wanted to, before the borders opened and the virus arrived. Baseline data here: meta4RN.com/baseline

As a reminder, Queensland border restrictions have been reduced in steps starting Monday 13 December 2021. Less than a month ago.

What an amazing three-and-a-bit weeks it’s been! As at 13 December 2021 Queensland had accumulated 2176 COVID-19 cases in the 22 months since the start of the pandemic. In less than 4 weeks that number has grown to more than 66,000 [source]. Exponential af. 😳

We all knew a significant rise in cases was coming, but most of us are shocked by how quick and large the explosion has been.

Yes, there was lots of preparation in the lead-up, but it’s been like switching phones/operating systems. Suddenly we’re doing stuff we’re not familiar with yet: nothing falls to hand, nothing is intuitive, nothing looks the same.

We will adapt, of course, but it is understandable that it might take us a little more time. We are comforted to know that we’re not the only service that is struggling. That confirms that we’re not finding things difficult and stressy because we’re a bunch of boofheads. We’re finding things difficult and stressy because we’re in the guts of a crisis.

In my gig (a mental health nurse in a general hospital) sometimes (eg: NOW! 🙂) it’s useful to be informed by a model of care specifically designed for responding to a crisis: psychological first aid (not to be confused with mental health first aid).

Put simply, psychological first aid is a humane, supportive response to a fellow human who needs a hand. Psychological first aid doesn’t require expertise or qualifications, it requires the motivation and capacity to pitch-in to promote calmness, safety, efficacy, connectedness and hope.

That kind and helpful approach, together with revisiting some ideas we had at the beginning of the pandemic, will do for now while we’re adapting. And – for me anyway – it’s probably easier to do that stuff than switching phones/operating systems. 🙂

Psychological First Aid

If you’re interested in learning more about psychological first aid see my prezi [click here] and/or this PDF from Australian Red Cross:

End

Thanks for visiting.

As always, feedback is welcome via the comments section below.

Paul McNamara, 8 January 2022

Short URL: meta4RN.com/switch

Bonus video: Old bloke shaving

Responding to Trauma

One of the things I use my blog for is as a “parking spot” for inservice presentations and the references used.

This is one of those blog posts.

Here’s the prezi:

Here are the references:

Australian Red Cross & Australian Psychological Society (2020). Psychological first aid: Supporting people affected by disaster in Australia.  3rd Edition.  www.redcross.org.au

Hildegard Peplau quote was completely made-up, but (to my mind, at least) it sums-up the vibe of Interpersonal relations in nursing: A conceptual frame of reference for psychodynamic nursing (1952) :
“The relationship is the therapy.”
NB: as far as I know, this not a Peplau quote, but [thanks Google] I see that it has been attributed to M. Kahn (1997). Between therapist and client: The new relationship 

Joseph Heller quote from Catch-22 (1961):
“People knew a lot more about dying inside the hospital, and made a much neater, more orderly job of it. They couldn’t dominate Death inside the hospital, but they certainly made her behave. They had taught her manners. They couldn’t keep death out, but while she was in she had to act like a lady.”

Hurley, J. & Linsley, Paul. (2012). Emotional intelligence in health and social care: A guide for improving human relationships. Routledge.

Mental Health Coordinating Council (2013). Trauma-Informed Care and Practice:
Towards a cultural shift in policy reform across mental health and human services in
Australia, A National Strategic Direction, Position Paper and Recommendations of the
National Trauma-Informed Care and Practice Advisory Working Group, Authors: Bateman, J
& Henderson, C (MHCC) Kezelman, C (Adults Surviving Child Abuse, ASCA)

Tim Winton quote from Cloudstreet (1991):
““Life was something you didn’t argue with, because when it came down to it, whether you barracked for God or nothing at all, life was all there was. And death.”

Woody Allen quote from Without Feathers (1975)
“I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”

One more thing

In doing this session previously it has popped-up that it can be distressing being unable to contact relatives from a blocked/private phone number. Here’s a tip:

From: Paul McNamara
Sent: Wednesday, 9 December 2020 17:00 PM
To: 0412345678@smsmessages.health.qld.gov.au
Subject: To send an SMS via QHealth email type your message in the subject space and send using the mobilephonenumber@smsmessages.health.qld.gov.au format. Also, you can copy & paste the message into ieMR, as I’ve done here.

More info on this theme @ Thinking Health Communication? Think Mobile. meta4RN.com/mobile

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That’s it. As always you’re welcome to leave feedback via the comments section below.

Paul McNamara, 9 December 2020

Short URL: meta4RN.com/trauma