Critical Incident Stress Support (CISS) Team Policy
To describe the circumstances and the process where Critical Incident Stress Support is provided to prevent, reduce and manage the harmful aspects of stress.
Critical Incident Stress Support (CISM) is a system designed to support individuals who have experienced a crisis event (Internal/External disaster; Sentinel Event; and other crises) which subjects them to increased levels of stress. CISS is a comprehensive, systematic and multi-component approach for the prevention, reduction and control of the harmful aspects of stress.
Realizing the harmful aspects of the stress caused by crisis situations, PDS-A will provide Critical Incident Stress Support (CISM) to those staff members involved in situations of intense and elevated stress.
The purpose of CISS is:
- To provide prompt support to the staff following their involvement in a crisis event such as Internal Disaster, External Disaster, Sentinel Events, or other crises.
- To educate staff members in advance of stressful crisis events, teaching them techniques to manage stress and reduce its after effects.
It is critical to the well being of the staff (team) and the individual members of the affected team(s) that CISS be offered in a timely manner. CISS interventions demonstrate care for the caregiver with its early intervention, opportunity for catharsis, a setting to verbalize the stress, peer support, group support, and opportunities for follow-up. In addition, CISS benefits the institution in that valued employees are not lost or impaired due to the after-affects of the crisis.
At Presbyterian Hospital, Rust Medical Center, or Kaseman Presbyterian Hospital, when the Internal/External Disaster Plan is activated, the Chaplaincy Services Staff will report to the Command Center. Chaplaincy Services will work with the Incident Commander and the Operations Section Chief to determine the need to activate the CISS team. Refer to the Disaster (Internal and External) Plan flow-chart.
In the event of a Sentinel Event, when the event will have a prolonged duration or significant scope, the house supervisor or administrator on call may elect to handle the event as a disaster and implement the Incident Command System. Once the Incident Command System is implemented, the Incident Commander may contact the Department of Chaplaincy Services to implement CISS for the purposes of staff support. Refer to the Internal Disaster Plan, Sentinel Event plan flow-chart.
CISS may be requested in other ways as well. A manager or director may request CISS for an individual or members of the team who have experienced a crisis. Also, an individual may anonymously request CISS for a situation they experienced as a crisis.
The Department of Chaplaincy Services will work cooperatively and collegially in order to provide CISS services to affected individuals and teams.
Who To Call For Help...
...For Critical Incident Stress Support
Chaplain Bill Dorman: