Trauma informed care is the ability to shift focus during an assessment of an individual from the idea that something is wrong with an individual to the idea that something happened to them to make them the way that they are (What is Trauma-Informed Care, 2020). Experiences stress and traumatic events play a significant role in health. To treat these individuals appropriately, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) can utilize trauma-informed care (TIC). Often, vulnerable populations are the focus in these situations because many of them encounter stressful, traumatic experiences in their lifetime that alter their health. The purpose of this discussion is to describe how stress and health are related to one another and how APRN’s can utilize TIC and health to care for vulnerable populations.As defined above, TIC identifies that there was an experience in an individual’s life that influenced their overall health status and impacted their life in a variety of ways. In the info-graph, Ten Key Ingredients for Trauma-Informed Care, the author identifies that trauma is described as an event or circumstance that an individual experiences that physically or emotionally had an adverse effect on their well-being. In addition, the info-graph identifies that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) found that if an individual is exposed to a lot of stressful situations or traumatic experiences in their lifetime, they are more likely to develop a chronic health condition or be involved in risky health behaviors at some point in their lifetime (Ten Key Ingredients, 2018). Christofferson (2020) and colleagues explain that TIC focuses on signs and symptoms of trauma, understanding the path to recovery from trauma, and reduces the impact of medical care of causing more distress. In addition, it offers coping skills, emotional support, and provides guidance for patients (Christofferson et al., 2020).When an individual experiences stressful or traumatic experiences, it can impact their health in various ways. Stress can affect a person positively or negatively. VanMeter and Huber (2014) explain that if a stressor is negatively perceived, it can be detrimental effects on the body, disrupt homeostasis, and inappropriate behaviors may occur. The authors state that a vicious cycle can occur if the stressor is not removed (VanMeter & Huber, 2014). Stress can affect health indirectly through health behaviors that stressed individuals may begin doing. Homan and Sirois (2017) explain that individuals may engage in short-term relief behaviors such as drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and eating unhealthy diets. In addition, they may likely ignore health promoting behavior such as cardiovascular enhancing exercise (Homan & Sirois, 2017). In summary, stress can cause physiological changes in the body and result in poor health outcomes.

APRNs can utilize TIC to care for vulnerable populations with knowledge of what happened to the individual to cause a specific outcome and be aware of the effects of trauma and stress on health. Individually, APRNS can be make patients feel safe, establish rapport, provide resources, and learn to understand the paths for recovery. However, it is difficult to implement trauma-informed care at just the clinical level because the organization must participate in this level of care to appropriately develop organizational culture change. Center for Health Care Strategies (2017) explains that health care providers can build trauma-informed health care organizations that provide inclusive and caring environments to improve patient interactions and engagement in hopes to improve health outcomes. This approach includes building awareness and generating trauma-informed approaches, supporting staff wellness in organizational culture, hiring employees that share the same values as trauma-informed care, and overall create a safe environment for patients (What is Trauma-Informed Care, 2020). Adopting these strategies as an APRN and bringing them to the attention of organizations is one way to bring this culture to an APRNs practice.To summarize, trauma-informed care acknowledges that experiences that an individual encounters throughout their lifetime can impact their life in a negative way. The idea of trauma informed care must be implemented at the organizational level and at the clinical level if it is going to be effective. APRNs must recognize that stressors impact health outcomes and assist individuals to recognize these stressors to reduce the possibility of a chronic health condition in the future. An APRN must have the mindset that a patient is the way they are because of something that happened to them, rather than believing that something is wrong with them in order to treat them effectively and appropriately.ReferencesCenter for Health Care Strategies, Inc. (2017) Understanding the effects of trauma on health [Fact sheet]. https://www.traumainformedcare.chcs.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Fact-Sheet-Understanding-Effects-of-Trauma.pdfChristofferson, J. L., Okonak, K., Kazak, A. E., Pierce, J., Kelly, C., Schifano, E., Sciolla, J., Deatrick, J. A., & Alderfer, M. A. (2020). Family consequences of potentially traumatic pediatric medical events: Implications for trauma-informed care. Journal of Family Psychology, 34(2), 237–246. https://doi.org/10.1037/fam0000597

Homan, K. J., & Sirois, F. M. (2017). Self-compassion and physical health: Exploring the roles of perceived stress and health-promoting behaviors. Health Psychology Open, 4(2), 2055102917729542.“Ten Key Ingredients for Trauma-Informed Care.”. Trauma-Informed Care Implementation Research Center. (2018). Accessed, June, 14, 2020.VanMeter, K. C., & Hubert, R. J. (2014). Gould’s pathophysiology for the health professions. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders.What is Trauma-Informed Care? (2020). Retrieved from https://www.traumainformedcare.chcs.org/what-is-trauma-informed-care/

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For this week’s discussion, define trauma-informed care (TIC), explain how stress and health are related, and discuss how an APRN can utilize this information in caring for vulnerable populations. Please include at least 3 scholarly sources within your initial post.

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