What is Trauma Informed Care?

What is Trauma Informed Care?  To answer, first we must ask, what is considered a traumatic event?

When most people think of trauma, they assume it’s either physical, mental, or sexual abuse. While this may be common among patients who have experienced a variety of pelvic floor dysfunction, it is not an absolute. 46.8% of 713 women in a chronic pelvic pain clinic completed questionnaires and reported having either a sexual or physical abuse history. However, trauma includes a much wider range including stressful events, exposure to something scary, neglect, and a stressful childhood. Other traumatic events include surgery, medical or dental procedures, losing someone you love, prolonged immobilization, natural disasters, abandonment, physical injuries, and giving birth. Even in our current environment, living through a pandemic can be traumatic.

Arguably, every person has likely experienced at least one traumatic event in their life.

So, what is Trauma Informed Care?

As medical providers, it is our responsibility to not cause harm or ‘retraumatize’ a patient. We do that through trauma informed care.

Trauma Informed Care is defined as creating an experience for the patient that is based upon knowledge and information about how patients who have experienced trauma are best served. Think of it as universal trauma precautions that include set guidelines to avoid causing trauma or re-traumatization.

At M2B, we implement the research based approach from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):

First, Realize the patient’s need for respect, informed consent, connection and their need to feel hopeful about recovery.

Second, we Recognize signs and symptoms of trauma and Respond by integrating knowledge into practice to create a safe, transparent, supportive, collaborative, and a mutually empowering environment that is respectful of each individuals’ culture and beliefs in order to prevent Re-traumatization.

 Trauma-Informed Approach and Trauma-Specific Interventions, 2018 (https://www.samhsa.gov/nctic/trauma-intervention)

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