Trauma-Informed Nursing Care

  • Jay Ellen Barrett


Trauma-informed care (TIC) is still a relatively new concept and not fully understood or implemented in many healthcare settings. Nurses are the healthcare professionals most likely to have the first contact with many patients, and nursing training and process emphasizes a person-centered relationship, enabling nurses to be advocates for a patient’s advancement toward recovery and optimal health. While a robust trauma-informed nursing care literature exists for mental health and pediatric settings, less has been written to guide nursing care in adult medical settings including primary care, emergency department/urgent care, and inpatient medical-surgical settings.

To spread TIC, health systems and nursing leadership should identify knowledge deficits and provide education for the entire nursing team that describes the interplay of neurological, biological, psychological, and social effects of trauma to reduce the likelihood of re-traumatization and aid in the understanding of how a patient’s presentation may reflect an exacerbation of past events.

Nurses are the ideal clinicians to engage a patient in understanding their own illness and health. Application of a nursing TIC approach may improve outcomes and potentially decrease care utilization and costs. Nursing is a critical component of any trauma-informed delivery system, and this chapter will provide nurses with a framework to apply TIC in the adult medical setting.


Trauma-informed nursing care Nursing and interpersonal trauma, nursing the anxious patient Primary care nursing Holistic nursing Patient-centered nursing care Whole Health 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jay Ellen Barrett
    • 1
  1. 1.US Army Nurse Corps, LTC (Ret), Veterans Affairs (VA) Boston Healthcare SystemBostonUSA

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