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Trauma Informed Care

Jennifer Stone, PT, DPT, OCS, PHC

April 28, 2021

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Question

What is trauma, how does trauma-informed care affect practice, and what are some strategies for trauma-informed care?  

Answer

Trauma is anything that triggers a protective response from the brain. Any type of trauma can be managed using a trauma informed lens. Trauma is unfortunately very common. Trauma responses can be lifestyles or situational. Adverse Childhood Experiences have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration and lifelong health and opportunity

  • Trauma informed processes and policies have been shown to build resilience.
    • The ability to recover quickly from traumatic or difficult experiences
  • Primary care providers who practice trauma informed care have better patient outcomes compared to those who don’t

The four R's of trauma informed care include:

  • Realizing the prevalence of trauma
  • Recognizing the signs of trauma
  • Responding by integrating our knowledge of trauma into policies and practice
  • Avoid Re-traumatizing

We never need disclosure of trauma, proceed with a trauma informed lens if in doubt.  

Strategies for trauma informed care included the following:

  • Consent for every contact
  • Don’t assume consent in the past is consent for the present.
  • Explain what is going on, why you are doing something, and discuss the length of time it will take you to do something.
  • Give the patient a voice, say "if I need to stop, let me know."
  • Live up to your words, stop if requested.
  • Demonstrate healthy boundaries (are you uncomfortable or unsafe?)
  • Physical space: put yourself in the position of the patient. Where is the door? How is the plinth positioned? Are you towering over your patient?
  • Set everything up out in the open. Don’t hide things, show them what things are in advance and what the purpose is.
  • Provide a safe environment to extent of your ability.

For more information on trauma informed care and how to utilize it in your practice, please view Trauma Informed Care Principles for Rehabilitation Professionals by Jennifer Stone, PT, DPT, OCS, PHC


jennifer stone

Jennifer Stone, PT, DPT, OCS, PHC

Jennifer Stone is a physical therapist and educator who lives in Columbia, MO. She is the program director for Evidence In Motion’s Pelvic Health Certificate and a member of the Evidence In Motion Faculty Experience team. She treats patients in a hospital-based outpatient clinic, where her caseload is primarily made of pelvic health diagnoses of all types. Jennifer loves combining her knowledge of orthopedics, pain science, and pelvic health and helping others do the same. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her five children outside, gardening, and knitting lace.

 


Related Courses

Trauma Informed Care Principles for Rehabilitation Professionals
Presented by Jennifer Stone, PT, DPT, OCS, PHC
Recorded Webinar

Presenter

Jennifer Stone, PT, DPT, OCS, PHC
Course: #3975Level: Intermediate2 Hours
  'Excellent topic, this should be a class all healthcare providers take every year!'   Read Reviews
Acute and chronic trauma is very prevalent in the United States, and have been tied strongly to adverse health behaviors and outcomes. This course provides the rehabilitation professional with an overview of the physiology of trauma, as well as practical tools to work with patients who are experiencing trauma. This course is directly related to the practice of physical therapy and is therefore appropriate for the PT/PTA.

Best Practices for Rehab Professionals When Caring for Patients Across the Gender Identity Spectrum
Presented by Jennifer Stone, PT, DPT, OCS, PHC
Recorded Webinar

Presenter

Jennifer Stone, PT, DPT, OCS, PHC
Course: #3534Level: Introductory2 Hours
  'Great course! I feel that this is a topic not many people approach'   Read Reviews
This course will seek to inform the rehabilitative professional about individuals who identify in ways other than cis-gender, including appropriate language to use, gender pronouns, and definitions specific to this population. The course will additionally discuss physical therapy implications for these individuals, including the impact of hormone therapy on the musculoskeletal system and post­ operative considerations following gender affirmation surgery. This course is directly related to the practice of physical therapy and is therefore appropriate for the PT/PTA.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse and You
Presented by Jennifer Stone, PT, DPT, OCS, PHC
Recorded Webinar

Presenter

Jennifer Stone, PT, DPT, OCS, PHC
Course: #3877Level: Intermediate2 Hours
  'Instructor is very knowledgeable about this topic'   Read Reviews
This course provides an overview of types of pelvic organ prolapse, discusses causes of pelvic organ prolapse, and discusses rehabilitative management of both post-operative and non-operative patients with pelvic organ prolapse. This course is best suited for physical therapists who already have some underlying pelvic floor/pelvic health knowledge, but may also be taken by those who do not with the understanding that some additional outside study of anatomy may be needed. This course is directly related to the practice of physical therapy and athletic training and is therefore appropriate for the PT/PTA and AT.

Editor's Note: Regarding Pennsylvania credits, this course is approved by the PA State Board of Physical Therapy for 1 hour of general and 1 hour of Direct Access CE credit.

The Aging Adult and the Pelvic Floor: Applications for All Providers
Presented by Jennifer Stone, PT, DPT, OCS, PHC
Recorded Webinar

Presenter

Jennifer Stone, PT, DPT, OCS, PHC
Course: #3641Level: Intermediate2 Hours
  'Being over 50 myself, I am more aware of bladder control issues'   Read Reviews
This course provides information regarding the impact of aging on the pelvic health of older adults along with practical tips to promote ideal pelvic floor activation and function in this population. This course will have applications both for pelvic health therapists who wish to know more about older adults and geriatric therapists who wish to understand the role of the pelvic floor better. This course is directly related to the practice of physical therapy and is therefore appropriate for the PT/PTA.

Mindfulness: Beyond Guided Meditation
Presented by Jennifer Stone, PT, DPT, OCS, PHC
Recorded Webinar

Presenter

Jennifer Stone, PT, DPT, OCS, PHC
Course: #3902Level: Intermediate2 Hours
  'Teacher presentation was engaging'   Read Reviews
Mindfulness can be a really powerful cognitive-behavioral tool and has many relevant applications when treating patients with pain, especially chronic pain. Many courses for rehabilitation professionals teach guided meditation, which is an amazing tool. However, mindfulness has many other applications and opportunities for use in the treatment of patients with pain. This session discusses the history and science behind mindfulness, as well as provides a variety of practical mindfulness tools for the everyday practitioner. This course is directly related to the practice of physical therapy and is therefore appropriate for the PT/PTA.