Evaluation Data from Last year’s Secondary Trauma Resiliency Trainings
Prior to beginning the Secondary Trauma Resiliency Training, participants were questioned about their secondary traumatic stress reactions or symptoms. The amount of secondary traumatic stress reported by the participants in the five trainings was quite large: 8.9 stress reactions or symptoms per care-provider.
We ask participants about the consequences of these secondary traumatic stress reactions. 42.9% of those surveyed report that their effectiveness has been compromised by their secondary traumatic stress reactions or symptoms. Perhaps even more alarming, 46.4% of these professionals acknowledge that they have considered leaving their profession as a consequence of their vicarious trauma. These numbers are actually somewhat low – we have led trainings where the ratings of compromised-effectiveness and consideration-of-leaving were above 70%.
At the completion of the three day training, participants rated the Relevance of the Secondary Trauma Resiliency Training to their professional life at an average of 92.4 on a 1-to-100 scale. 55.4% of our participants rated the Relevance of the training at the highest mark, 100, on this assessment scale. Participants then rated a different measure of the training’s value, the Impact they experienced the training as having for their career. On a similar 1-to-100 scale, these professionals gave an average Impact rating of 91.9. 56.3% of the participants rated the Impact of the training at 100 on this assessment scale. In other words, a modal score of 100% (not to be confused with the mean) was recorded on both of these scales across the trainings we led.
Many trainings may seem valuable while a person is in attendance, but its importance may fade once participants returns to the regular demands of their jobs. To see if the Secondary Trauma Resiliency Training does or does not suffer such a drop-off from these high evaluation scores, VitalHearts conducts a follow-up evaluation one month after the completion of the Secondary Trauma Resiliency Training. After being back at their work for a month, the participants were queried again about their assessment of the training’s Relevance and Impact. These high marks did not deflate over this period. The average Relevance score was 92.8 and the average Impact score was 90.
We ask participants in the one month follow-up evaluation to review the secondary traumatic stress symptoms and reactions they noted before they began the training. At this one month mark, 100% of responding participants reported positive change in one or more of their previously reported stress reactions or symptoms. Looking at the full set of all stress reactions or symptoms marked by the complete cohort of care-providers who attended the Secondary Trauma Resiliency Training in 2011, 68.6% of these symptoms and reactions had a positive change (meaning resolved or lessened in severity). To restate this: every single responding care-provider saw at least one symptom or stress reaction get better. Not a single participant reported receiving no benefits whatsoever. Plus, nearly 70% of all participants’ vicarious trauma reactions or symptoms reported – and these averaged almost 9 per care-provider – was noted as improved one month following the training. That is a remarkable measure of benefit.
Even though the training is just a three day experience, which is obviously a miniscule amount of time compared to the length of these professionals’ careers, 44% reported at the one month follow-up that they find their work More Rewarding than before attending the training. Finally, in response to a retention-related question, 69.2% of those who had considered quitting their profession, indicated at the one-month follow-up, that they are Less Likely to Leave than they were before participating in the Secondary Trauma Resiliency Training.