Mary M. Smith




School of Nursing


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Tonia Kennedy


Critical Incident Stress Debriefing, PTSD, ANXIETY


Healthcare providers, especially those working in emergency and intensive care settings, are frequently exposed to traumatic experiences. These experiences affect their emotional, physical, psychological, or spiritual well-being. This integrated review analyzed the effectiveness of Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) as an intervention for emergency healthcare providers secondary to exposure of traumatic events in their clinical practice. Fifteen (15) articles and journals using the PRISMA model searching for evidence supporting the application of CISD in managing the effects of traumatic experiences by emergency healthcare providers were reviewed. The research showed that emergency healthcare workers mitigate stress in multiple ways. The non-mandatory and formalized CISD process is open to the staff involved and facilitated by trained professionals It is designed to offer an open, non-judgmental setting, where those involved may express their feelings with the goal to avoid internalization of the feelings and stress surrounding the incident, while reinforcng that the individual is not alone in experiencing this stress and emotions. Working in emergency medicine increases the likelihood of exposure to frequent critical incidents, which may lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(s) (PTSD). This integrated review supports the use of CISD for helping healthcare providers working in emergency medicine cope with the challenge of being exposed to trauma and the related effects. Keywords: traumatic experiences, critical incidents, debriefing, psychological, emergency