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Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nurses Contributions to Supporting Survivors and Caregivers Affected by the Boston Marathon Bombings

Lakatos, Barbara E. DNP, PMHCNS-BC, APN; DeLisle, Leslie MS, PMHCNS-BC, APN; Mitchell, Monique MS, PMHCNS-BC, APN; Etheredge, Mary Lou MS, PMHCNS-BC, APN

doi: 10.1097/NUR.0000000000000030
Feature Article

Objective: The role of the psychiatric advanced practice nurse in promoting psychological health and resiliency for patients, their families and staff following the Boston Marathon bombings is reviewed.

Background: On April 15, 2013, 2 bombs exploded near the finish line at the Boston Marathon. Within minutes, 39 patients suffering from multiple injuries presented at a level I trauma center. The magnitude of this event and its effect on our hospital required a comprehensive response that would promote resiliency and healing.

Rationale: Lessons shared from responders to other tragedies were helpful in guiding our interprofessional efforts. The multiple layers of our response are reviewed to offer learnings that may inform others as they work to promote resiliency and healing following traumatic events.

Description: In response to this event, we utilized a trauma-informed care framework emphasizing physical, psychological, and emotional safety to assist staff, survivors, and families on their journey of healing.

Conclusion: Emotional reactions were dramatic but were eased by the psychological care and education that our patients, their families, and staff received in the first days to weeks after the bombings.

Implications: The psychiatric advanced practice nurse can influence positive outcomes by utilizing a trauma-informed care framework.

Author Affiliations: Program Directors (Dr Lakatos and Mss DeLisle and Mitchell), Psychiatric Nursing Resource Service, and Executive Director (Ms Etheredge), Nursing Practice Development and the Psychiatric Nursing Resource Service, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Barbara E. Lakatos, DNP, PMHCNS-BC, APN, Psychiatric Nursing Resource Service, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Tower 1 Nursing Services, 75 Francis St, Boston, MA 02115 (blakatos@partners.org).

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins