An Awareness of Vicarious Loss & Grief in Paramedic Service

Vicarious Trauma in Paramedic Services

Sudden traumatic loss of a loved one can be a shocking and devastating event in a person’s life. This same event can also have a significant emotional and psychological impact on paramedics who are the first responders and caregivers in such situations. In an emotionally charged context, especially where some aspect of the case at hand bears a resemblance to the paramedic’s personal circumstances (e.g., a child of the same age), empathic transference of the loss experience can be palpable.

A further vicarious experience can be felt by the counsellor who then hears the stories of paramedics. This booklet explores such a transference of the loss experience and offers guidance for counsellors who are assisting paramedics suffering the emotional turmoil of such events.

The attached PDF download is a very brief look at vicarious trauma in the paramedic field (Click on the image above).



Emergency Services & Armed Forces

Matthew has spent a decade as an advanced care paramedic with the Queensland Ambulance Service and understands the unique pressures that emergency services personnel experience. He has also grown up as part of the armed forces family with a father who was a Wing Commander of 12 squadron in the RAAF. Both direct and vicarious trauma can have an adverse affect on emergency services and armed forces personnel as well as the non-traumatic aspects of shift-work, deployment and work politics. Matthew has “been there, done that” in the paramedic setting and has the tools and background to help you through whatever difficulties you are experiencing in your service on the frontline.

Matthew is a QAS Priority One external counsellor.

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