At the Heart of Trauma-Informed Care
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“Trauma-informed care” provides a framework to guide clinicians in responding to the epidemic of trauma. Yet few clinicians feel comfortable defining trauma-informed care or describing how it translates into practice. This reflective piece suggests four dimensions of trauma-informed care: 1) Awareness of the prevalence of trauma and its long-term effects on physical and emotional health to every encounter; 2) attitudes that recognize resilience and take into account how trauma may influence behavior and engagement in care; 3) an approach to care that prioritizes safety, choice and collaboration while working to build trust; and 4) education regarding trauma’s effects, and connection to resources to support healing. These dimensions seek to clarify the provider’s role in creating a trauma-informed health care environment and stimulate reflection on how best to serve patients affected by trauma.
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