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Second victim phenomenon is when an adverse experience such a medication error, sudden patient death, or sentinel event causes physical, emotional, or psychological distress in registered nurses (RNs). Many organizations and hospitals lack the support RNs need to overcome difficult situations. It is through understanding of the second victims that hospitals can help nurses work towards coping and recover from adverse events they experience in the workplace. This research project demonstrates the need for an increased awareness of the second victim phenomenon in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). The project revealed that education for nurses was needed to increase awareness of the second victim phenomenon and ascertain effective coping mechanisms. 16 nurses completed the pretest, reflective practice group participation, and posttest. The reflective practice group information included what the second victim phenomenon is, adverse events that can cause it, signs and symptoms second victims exhibit, ways to provide support during difficult situations in the clinical setting, the stages nurses go through leading to burnout, and support CCHMC offers to nurses at the hospital. The results on the pretest improved from 82.1% of the questions correct to 91.5% of the questions correct on the posttest following the reflective practice group. The outcomes revealed that there was effective learning when attending the reflective practice group. The second victim experience has extensive implications in nursing education, theory, practice, policy, and research.



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