Shared Flashcard Set


Unit 12-2
Critical Incident Stress and Awareness

Additional Law Flashcards




#1 – Identify the different types of stress.
Eustress (i.e., good stress)
• Stress that has a positive motivating force which may lead to an increase in health and performance
• Examples are deadlines, competition, and specialized training opportunities
• From a positive standpoint, eustress is experienced as increased mental alertness and focus
Distress (i.e., bad stress)
• Negative dysfunctional force which may lead to disease and the deterioration of health
• Generally refers to job pressures and demands that trigger negative behaviors such as losing your temper, yelling, excessive force, and/or drug/alcohol abuse
#2 – Explain the concept of critical incident stress.
• Definition: any event (i.e., trauma) which has a stressful impact sufficient enough to overwhelm the usually effective coping skills
• Trauma – an emotional response to a terrible event
o An event or the combination of several events that overwhelms the ability to cope
o Trauma is so catastrophic that it may evoke symptoms in almost anyone regardless of background
• Possible responses following a critical incident
o Heightened sense of danger (i.e., hypervigilance)
o Anger, frustration, and blaming
o Isolation and withdrawal
o Sleep difficulties
o Intrusive thoughts
o Emotional numbing
o Depression and feelings of guilt
• Factors affecting the magnitude of traumatic response
• Officer variables
o Personality
o View of reality
o Personal history
o Beliefs
• Types of critical incidents
o Line of duty death
o Serious line of duty injury
o Suicide of a co-worker
o Multi-casualty incident
o Police shooting that ends with injury or death
#3 – Explain the concept of cumulative stress.
• Definition: stress arousal that slowly builds up over time which may lead to the erosion of coping mechanisms or to a state of mental exhaustion (e.g., “burnout”)
o Cumulative stress is actually a product of multiple stress events over a period of time
o Unlike eustress, distress, and critical incident stress, you may be able to avoid cumulative stress
o If each individual stress event is managed in a healthy manner, you can avoid the buildup of stress and the negative byproducts it creates (e.g., cumulative stress, other stress disorders)
o The sources of stress that create cumulative stress come from personal and professional sources
#4 – Identify possible stress reactions during a life threatening encounter.
• Fight
• Flight
• Freeze
#5 – Describe individual approaches to stress management.
• Manage responsibility
• Practice self-awareness
• Have a balanced lifestyle
• Apply stress reduction techniques
• Exercise
• Take time for life
#6 – Identify when to seek assistance.
• Individual coping skills are not working
• Your friends or family notice dysfunctional emotional responses or behavior
• When you don’t “feel like yourself” (e.g., disorientation, depression)
• Suicidal or homicidal thoughts or plans
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