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Authors

  1. Whittle, Shanda N. MSN, RN-BC, CNL
  2. Horton-Deutsch, Sara PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF

Abstract

The second victim phenomenon is one in which nurses and other health care providers use dysfunctional mechanisms, such as anger, projection of blame, or drugs and/or alcohol, to cope with serious mistakes in the absence of a healthier means for healing. The main purpose of this article is to provide evidence and practices that support the need for caring organizational support systems following serious adverse clinical events. Recommendations are provided on key elements of programs to prevent the prevalence, symptoms, and impact of the second victim phenomenon on our health care professionals, our patients, and our health care system.