The psychological effects of working in the emergency services

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Authors
Reidy, Larissa
Issue Date
2007
Degree
BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy
Publisher
Dublin Business School
Rights
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Abstract
This study set out to explore the psychological impact of working in the emergency services. The aim of the research is to identify the effects on those particular employees and if there is a problem availing of support within the emergency services. The quantitative research method in the form of questionnaires was used. The first section of the questionnaire sought demographic details of each participant. The second, third, fourth and fifth part of the questionnaire was a self-assessment consisting of sixteen questions which where designed to evaluate how the employees handle the psychological impact of their job. The sixteen questions evaluated what emergency had the most impact, the experiences before and after the emergency, and the support available. The research was carried on employees from the Garda Siochana, the paramedics, the firefighters and the Defense Forces. There where thirty three participants in all, four Garda Siochana, ten paramedics, ten firefighters and nine Defense Force employees. The conclusions drawn from the study is that there is a psychological impact in working in the emergency services. The area of work which participants found to have the most impact on them was the death of a child, assault on themselves or a colleague and a house fire. Some members of the emergency services did feel comfortable availing of support through work if needed, however the Garda Siochana felt the least comfortable.