Sample Coursework Paper on Field Clinics Officers and Victims of Psychological/Social Traumas

Victims of natural disasters usually experience psychological problems. This can be either short time or long time. Trauma duration varies with each individual and depends on the age, past experiences, support from others, and family history among other factors. These events affect victims psychologically and may sometimes hinder how they see themselves (Lynne, 2012). The threat or harm caused by natural disasters may be too much for the victims to handle and therefore affect their lives. Different agencies are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring faster recovery of these victims in the shortest time possible.

Field clinic is one of the agencies that respond to natural disasters. A natural disaster can render existing health facilities in an area inaccessible or can cause damage to the facilities. The facilities will therefore lack the ability to provide the needed Medicare to the victims. The supply of necessary health materials would also be interrupted in some cases due to the inaccessibility of the area. These two factors, among others, make demand for medical attention very high and emergency health care measures should  be put in place (Lynne, 2012). Field clinic services would then be coordinated so that medical professionals can take care of the victims.

Field clinic officials would be involved in taking care of the displaced people while minimizing chances of communicable disease outbreaks. Displaced population leads to high density on the health camps and disaster make interrupt sanitation system in an area. These make chances of outbreak so high that the medical staffs have to strain to ensure that they deliver the best medical care to the victims. In most cases, the staff may direct all measures towards treatment of the victims and forget their psychological status (Lynne, 2012). Training is therefore necessary for the medical staff so that they would know how to assist traumatized victims.

It is advisable that the medical staff working with traumatized victims of natural disaster to assess the impact the event has had on the victims. Some people may go through such events with resilient while others would need help from the medical staff in order to overcome the experience.

It is very important to have the medical staff trained on mental health counseling, as this would enable them offer solution to the traumatized victims(Lynne, 2012).. The use of this type of counseling pulls together individual strengths and enables them to return to their normal ways of life. It is also practical and can be applied in response to any crisis.

Training of field clinic officials on crisis counseling is very important. Effective counseling to the victims brings back sanity amidst chaos brought about by the disaster. The staffs need to understand the various stages of discovery from a crisis and their roles. They should know that when the victims are involved in the process and empowerd, then they would take shorter time to recover from the abnormal occurrence in their lives.

The medical staff, who have been called upon to help during a disaster should understand that they need to make the victims feel safe first. Other needs should be taken care of later after victims have been assured of safety. Psychological first aid (PFA) requires that all respondents to a disaster must ensure that victims coping ability is stabilized, level of distress reduced and safety measures ensured (Lynne, 2012). PFA also states that the respondents to a disaster should aim at reducing the trauma and the long-term problems that might come because of an event.

World health organization (WHO) has identified the need to offer training to medical officers so that the offer psychological support to victims. When the typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippine, its impact was felt for a long time (“Philippines: Health professionals learn”, 2013). The organization therefore saw the need for trained field officers, including the medical personnel on psychological interventions.

Training of field clinic officials on how to assist trauma victims enables them to offer practical help to the disaster victims. The officials will be socially and psychologically supportive to the victims. The trained field clinic officers would be in a position to identify symptoms of trauma among the disaster victims (“New guidelines to improve psychological and social assistance in emergencies,” 2007). The training would also enable the health officials to know of some of the proven ways that help in reducing the suffering of the victims. The officers will be able to listen effectively to the victims, assess their various needs, create more avenues for support, and offer more protection against more harm.

The inter-agency standing committee (IASC) has laid out some of the guidelines that all respondents to a disaster make ensure that their number one responsibility is to protect and promote the psychosocial and mental health of the victims(“New guidelines to improve psychological and social assistance in emergencies,” 2007). The guideline urges respondents from looking at psychosocial well-being of the victims as the sole responsibility of the psychologists. One of the health action doctors at the world health organization acknowledges stating that such guidelines would promote healthcare and support to the victims.

Natural disasters observed regularly all over the world cause short-term social stress and psychological problems. Failure to address them may lead to a longer period of suffering like mental health problems (“New guidelines to improve psychological and social assistance in emergencies,” 2007). The guidelines further explains that training of  health workers would make them be able to take advantages of the natural resources and man-power to reduce the distress caused by the disaster.

Field health workers will benefit from the training in so many ways. They would be able to handle victims more passionately and establish a good rapport with the victims. The training would also enable health officials to improve on the general safety of the victims and provide them with social support (Lynne, 2012). A trained health worker would gain more knowledge on how to calm the victims before commencing any treatment to them.

The will get training on how to prepare for situations and how to deliver services to the victims. Health workers need training on how to care for victims so that they can be able to carry out various important activities. The objectives would be to initiate contact with the victims and keep them engaged, promote safe and comfortable environment, and to link with other respondents.

Field health workers would have the ability to gather more information from what the victims tell them and hence offer them the most appropriate help (Lynne, 2012). Health workers are train on how to adapt to various kinds of natural disasters, how to motivate victims to cooperate, and how to play major role in ensuring that faster recovery is achieved.

Every field clinic should therefore ensure that the staff members are trained and well equipped to handle trauma victims. Field clinic should not offer only Medicare but should also help in improving the psychosocial well-being of the victims. This is also very important to the victims, just like the medical care.


New guidelines to improve psychological and social assistance in emergencies (2007, September 14). World Health Organization.

Philippines: Health professionals learn psychological first aid to support survivors (2013).World Health Organization. 

Lynne, S. (2012, February 1). A calming presence. Counseling Today: A publication of American Counseling Association.