A Healthier Wisconsin

Moving to Healing: Developing a Trauma-Informed Care Training for a Hospital System

Increasing the knowledge and skills of providers to effectively care for patients with a history of trauma

Full Project Name:Moving to Healing: Developing a Trauma-Informed Care Training for a Hospital SystemPrincipal Investigator:Courtney Barry, PsyD, MS, Psychiatry and Behavioral MedicineCo-Investigator:Terri deRoon-Cassini, PhD, Surgery; Constance Gundacker, MD, MPH, Pediatrics; Stephen Hargarten, MD, MPH, Emergency Medicine; Ashley Pavlic, MD, MA, Emergency MedicineAward Amount:$199,999
Award Date
Project Duration:24 months

Project Description Narrative:

Given the high prevalence of trauma within Wisconsin, healthcare providers likely encounter patients with a trauma history daily. Patients with trauma histories, both known and unknown, visit the emergency department and engage with providers. It is essential that these medical staff are trained in trauma-informed practices to prevent re-traumatization and promote healing.

Additionally, continually working with patients with a trauma history can significantly impact providers, who can experience vicarious trauma symptoms.

The purpose of this project is to develop trauma-informed care training for Froedtert Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin's Trauma and Acute Care Surgery Division and 2NT Unit at Froedtert Hospital.

This project proposes to advance health equity by educating trauma providers about the impact of prior trauma on disadvantaged populations. The goal of the project is to develop a healthcare system that is responsive to the needs of patients and acknowledges trauma exposure as an indicator of health, as well as reduce burnout/vicarious trauma in healthcare providers. Individuals living in under-resourced communities with high exposure to violence and childhood trauma, many of whom are captured in the adult injury population, are also at the greatest risk for medical comorbidities and high healthcare utilization. Developing training can benefit providers, staff, and patients by increasing knowledge about trauma and health and advancing health equity.

Project Updates:

  • Identified a training curriculum and have met with staff and providers both in Trauma and Acute Care Surgery as well as 2NT to gather insights on the type of training and what they would like to learn about trauma-informed care
  • Analyzing the responses of 40 interviewers conducted with administrative staff, faculty, nurses, CNAs, and rehabilitation service providers to determine how the training can be best completed by the staff and providers
  • Working with OEI on the modalities for the training and have identified the training modules that will be adapted

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