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Paramedics are exposed to events involving suffering and tragedy and consequently may experience posttraumatic stress symptoms and depression. Family support is a primary mediator of these reactions, yet family members may be vulnerable to transmitted stress and distress. This qualitative study explores the impact of trauma exposure on spouses of paramedics. Issues identified included managing everyday job stress, safety fears, and dealing with the paramedic's emotional reactivity and emotional withdrawal from family members following trauma exposure. Organizational support systems that have been developed for emergency workers generally neglect family members at the risk of depleting this important resource.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Center for Applied Social Research University of Toronto Toronto Ontario Canada

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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