Caring for Caregivers Experiencing Secondary Trauma: A Call to Action

Heather C. Forkey, Elaine Schulte, Luanne Thorndyke

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


Secondary traumatic stress (STS) is the emotional duress caused by indirect exposure to distressing events experienced by others. Health care providers are particularly susceptible to secondary stress due to regular exposure to difficult and painful clinical situations that evoke intrinsic empathy necessary to provide effective care. Understanding STS as a normal stress response not only helps to make sense of the symptoms but also suggests a way forward. Opportunities for those in health care to address STS can be found among our colleagues and in our own settings and may provide a meaningful source of support if accessed effectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-528
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • burnout
  • secondary traumatic stress
  • trauma informed care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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