Posttraumatic stress among undergraduate emergency nursing students

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Abstract: Undergraduate emergency nursing students are often exposed to stress when helping patients in
emergency situations. Emergency nursing students are vulnerable to the development of symptoms of post-traumatic
stress Disorder (PTSD). Stress reactions among helpers can be regarded as a natural behavior and reaction when
experiencing a traumatizing event and by the stress resulting from helping or wanting to help a traumatized or
distressed person. Any trauma exposure can trigger post traumatic stress disorder. Selley reiterates that health
workers as well as primary victims are at risk of developing PTSD. The aim of this study was to examine
posttraumatic stress among undergraduate emergency nursing students. Methods: The sample of this study consisted
of 250 undergraduate students attended and studied emergency nursing course during the period from February till
May 2009. Two instruments were used to measure reactions to traumatic events, Impact of Event Scale Revised
(IES-R) and the Post Traumatic Symptom Scale (PTSDS). Results: Of those who reported a traumatic situation the
majority of them scored 30 or more on the IES-R subscale. Scores over 30 indicate a stress reaction with certain
likelihood of post-traumatic disorder. On the PTSDS-subscale the majority of students scored 5 or more, which
indicates a relative strong reaction. Conclusion: The high prevalence of post-traumatic stress in undergraduate
emergency nursing students indicates an inability to cope with stress in daily life.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)997-1004
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of American Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2011


  • Posttraumatic Stress; Undergraduate; Emergency; Nursing; Student


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