Doctor of Nursing Practice
Public Health Nurse Leader
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
trauma informed care, adverse childhood experiences, primary care
Terrie Black, DNP, MBA, CRRN, FAHA, FAAN
Background: The prevalence of trauma is widely unacknowledged in the primary care setting. Unfortunately, the injury that individuals sustained as children may continue to adversely affect their health as adults in various ways, including having risky health behaviors, early death, chronic health conditions, and low life potential. Prevention of trauma is crucial and can is achieved with consistent public health education. There are available treatments for childhood trauma, and the inclusion of primary care for screening is vital for quality care.
Purpose: The Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs) is a screening tool that can be utilized to survey adult patients for childhood traumas.
Methods: This quality improvement project was conducted at a primary care clinic and started by assessing the staff member's current level of understanding of trauma informed care. The staff training was then customized to fit the needs of the staff. Trauma informed care was then implemented with patients with at least three visits to the clinic being screened using the ACEs tool. The patients that scored four or more were offered a higher level of care with a mental health provider, medication-assisted therapy, or both.
Results/Implications: Post survey analysis displayed that the instruction was successful based on the response by staff and implementation of TIC. Screened patients were amenable to treatment with mental health providers, but access to these providers in the local area was limited. The project's intent was met with the adequate addition of ACE as a screening tool in this primary care clinic.
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