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Trauma informed education for specialist practice

02 April 2020
Volume 1 · Issue 2


Trauma experienced in childhood and adolescence can have a lifelong impact upon an individual's physical and mental health. Therefore, the integration of trauma-informed education, within SCPHN training programmes was considered, in order to ensure school nurses, have the essential knowledge and skills, required to effectively deliver trauma-informed care within their role in practice. This involved utilising a combination of theoretical frameworks such as life-course epidemiology, psychosocial epidemiology and trauma-informed principles in conjunction with a variety of pedagogies such as social constructivism, experiential learning and a strengths-based approach.

Over the last 35 years the concept of trauma as a public health issue has evolved, from the development of the National Centre for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for war veterans in the United States in 1989, to initiating research between 1995 and 1997 on the adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) (Felliti et al, 1998), which extended this health issue into the civilian world of children, young people and families who have been exposed to traumatic experiences such as abuse and neglect. The plethora of evidence from this study (Fellliti et al, 1998) identified the ‘lifelong detrimental physical, emotional and mental health effects experienced by individuals with a history of trauma’ (Cannon et al, 2020: 1). This resulted in the development of a strengths-based approach known as trauma-informed care in 2005, which aims to promote a culture of safety, empowerment and healing (Tello, 2018).

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