Perspective Essay on a Traumatic Event


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The student will understand the perspective of the patient experiencing a health problem and this will help deliver responsible and relevant care. The purpose of this assignment is to encourage the student to think from the patient’s perspective, helping the student think in terms of treating the person, not just the disease.
1. Think about a time when you had to listen to a patient (or family member of a patient) who has experienced or is experiencing one of the following:
·         A chronic health condition
·         A disabling or disfiguring condition
·         A traumatic event
·         A lack of private health insurance
·         Other significant experience affecting their well-being
To receive credit
2.  Describe in 3 typewritten pages, double-spaced, using APA; the patient’s (or family member’s) experience from their perspective (as if they are writing).  Please include citations from required reading books from the class or cites that are reliable. You may also include, following this your thoughts or feelings, but this is optional. Include your name, the date, and the name of the rotation on your paper. Do not include the patient’s real name.
3. DUE DATE:  Submit to me in class on the day of final to my email….
4. GRADING: Essay is worth 25% that will be given to the student if the assignment is submitted and turned in prior to the start of the next rotation. No credit is given if assignment is submitted after the class completes.


Perspective Essay on a Traumatic Event

A traumatic event refers to an unpleasant experience that triggers mental and emotional problems for the afflicted individual for a long time. Physical assault, car accidents, sexual assault, shooting, kidnapping and mugging are some examples of traumatic events. The body and mind of an afflicted individual may not forget the traumatic event therefore, the individual tends to encounter frequent emotional and mental problems. It is important that these problems are identified early for treatment to commence (Rothschild, 2000). In this essay, I intend to discuss a traumatic event my sister experienced in her perspective in order to create an impression of what it was like for her to go through the traumatic experience.


            One day, my sister Fiona experienced a traumatic car accident. The effects of the car accident are still felt to date even though the accident occurred a year ago. It occurred after Fiona and her friends attended a party and got drunk. Drunk driving was the main cause of the accident. The car was overloaded, so there were many casualties from the accident, among them my sister Fiona. She, together with other students suffered bruises, deep cuts, and fractured bones. After treatment, some of them, including Fiona, had to continue using crutches for several months as part of the recovery process. Although none of the students was permanently incapacitated as a result of the accident, the resulting trauma still rings through Fiona’s mind whenever she narrates what happened on that day. In addition to fractures, she had bruises on her face and arms which still act as a sad reminder of the accident.

            Traumatic events indeed leave scars not only on the body of the afflicted individuals but also in their minds. Taking an example of Fiona, our family easily got the impression that she was depressed during the recovery period. The idea of having to use crutches to move around thoroughly traumatized her. The change from self- reliance to dependency was difficult for her to accept. She had to depend on other people to perform tasks that she had gotten used to doing with ease all her life. The change in circumstances was too sudden and dramatic for her to comprehend. Such a traumatic experience can easily have a heavy toll on one’s self- esteem, and the situation was not any different for my poor sister (Bolton et al., 2001).

            Moreover, experiencing a traumatic event may lead to depression. Together with low self-esteem, depression affects the performance of day-to-day activities like it did my sister. It is therefore vital that people who experience trauma to be treated by qualified physicians who understand both the disease and the victim’s feelings. Treatment ensures that the individual is motivated to overcome the fears that may have resulted from the accident (Bolton et al., 2001).

            Furthermore, Nightmares frequently occur among casualties of traumatic events. The individuals reencounter the traumatic event, but this time in their dreams. Nightmares affect the psychological wellbeing of the afflicted individuals as they create fear which can influence an individual’s reaction to particular environments. Fiona experienced many nightmares after the accident. She also developed extreme fear for cars. However, it is vital for the afflicted individuals to conquer the fears by simply engaging in activities that distract their minds from the traumatic experience since this will hasten the recovery process (Rothschild, 2000).

            Efforts should be made to ensure that the traumatic experience does not to lead to post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is one of the manifestations of negative psychological effects resulting from witnessing or being directly involved in a traumatic event. Individuals who have PTSD are normally depressed and may engage in drug and substance abuse. Individuals who experience traumatic events should be closely monitored to ensure that they acquire sufficient medical attention in the event that PTSD arises. Dependency as well as self- blame may lead to depression if it is not noticed early enough. For example, Fiona became depressed due to a feeling of inadequacy and the reality of having to depend on others for her daily needs during the period she was in clutches. It is therefore important for the individual to go through psychological therapy sessions with the help of a counseling psychologist. Moreover, treatment will enable the individual to recover and to resume normal life (Hepp et al., 2006).


            Fiona benefited a lot from therapy and visits to a psychologist in terms of the healing process. During therapy sessions, one meets with individuals who are experiencing similar situations and is able to communicate with them in a meaningful way. Communication is easier among people facing similar challenges since they easily empathize with each other’s difficult circumstances. Moreover, the individuals motivate each other to get back to their lives through engaging in activities and through inspirational talks from people who had experienced similar experiences but have since recovered. In conclusion, traumatic events have a negative effect on victim’s feelings. Doctors should try and understand the situation not just from the point of view of the disease but also the patient’s feelings. This way, it becomes easier for the condition to be treated in a more holistic way.


Bolton, E. E., Litz, B. T., Britt, T. W., Adler, A., & Roemer, L. (2001). Reports of prior exposure to potentially traumatic events and PTSD in troops poised for deployment. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 14(1), 249- 256.

Hepp, U., Gamma, A., Milos, G., Eich, D., Ajdacic- Gross, V., Rossler, W. & Schynder, U. (2006). Prevalence of exposure to potentially traumatic events and PTSD. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 256(3), 151- 158.

Rothschild, B. (2000). The body remembers: the psychophysiology of trauma and trauma treatment. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 41(9), 56-69.

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