THURSDAY, Sept. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Proper training and post-incident steps can help lessen the secondary trauma health professionals experience providing care during mass casualty incidents (MCIs), according to an article published in the American Medical Association’s AMA Wire.

Michael Karch, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., who spoke during an educational session at the 2018 AMA Annual Meeting in Chicago, says staying within protocols is important. Such training can help physicians understand the critical indications for which patients are more likely to survive ahead of time, so that they can become more resilient and objective during the situation.

Post-MCI, Karch says that physicians need to take appropriate steps to protect themselves from the emotional toll afterwards. Providers need to be self-aware and identify triggers. Additionally, providers should try to overcome stressors by getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising regularly, and engaging in mindfulness meditation.

“We need to train ourselves not to look at the big, the bad, the ugly of the horrible things that a hurricane or shooting can do to a human, but rather train ourselves to start and stay within protocols,” Karch said. “Stay within the protocol and you will avoid mistakes. Deviate outside of the protocol, you will make mistakes and you’ll lie awake at night.”

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