Healthcare organizations have a responsibility to protect not only their patients but also their workforce. Today's organizations have an even greater responsibility as they face a multitude of challenges, including pandemic care, which threatens their workforce's emotional well-being. 

Most clinicians and their healthcare team adjust well to the multitude of demands encountered during a traumatic clinical event or challenging times, yet, sometimes the emotional aftershock can be difficult. Signs and symptoms of this emotional impact may last a few days, a few weeks, a few months, or longer. The outcomes of healthcare workers experiencing an emotional aftershock can include guilt, anxiety and stress. Each symptom can occur on varying scales and contribute to high staff absentee rates, high turnover, increase in mistakes, and even suicidal thoughts.  

The majority of healthcare workers assume tragedy and emotional exhaustion are part of the role and will not seek out support, however, research indicates most of these same individuals welcome support if it is offered to them. 

A successful peer support program offers a supportive and confidential process that helps individuals minimize guilt, anxiety and stress by beginning the healing process immediately after an event. The interventions play a significant part in employee recovery and wellness.

This multi-phase Caring for Our Own workshop, led by co-developer Dr. Susan Scott in partnership with the Center for Patient Safety, provides healthcare organizations with the knowledge and tools necessary to establish Peer Support teams using Second Victim concepts to address the increasing needs of all healthcare workers.


Join others from around the world as Dr. Susan Scott presents the research, knowledge and tools you'll need to successfully implement a peer support program at your healthcare organization. The workshop fee includes:

  • Three (3) collaborative and educational sessions (6 hours total)
  • Downloadable resources, available during and after the workshop and continually updated
  • Networking and sharing groups through LinkedIn, follow-up calls, emails

All facets of the program are designed to support implementation, celebrate successes, and assist with challenges. Attendees are encouraged to engage and learn from others through participation in session breakout groups and interaction with the speakers.

The program consists of:

  • three (3) guided workshops designed to educate, inform, and train you on why and how to implement a peer-support program; attendees are encouraged to engage and learn from others, participate in in-session breakout groups and interact with the trainers. 
  • participation in a supportive post-workshop community made up of fellow trainers via special LinkedIn groups, trainer calls, emails, and more.

At the end of the program, you will:

  • understand components of a Second Victim Clinician Peer Support program and how they can be applied to a broader healthcare workforce well-being initiative; and
  • customize and define a plan to deploy and sustain a peer support network within your organization.

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Individuals with a passion for caring and a desire to support their workforce will benefit greatly from completing the Caring for Our Own train-the-trainer program. 

The format provides the building blocks to help equip attendees with the strategy, implementation tools and follow-up to successfully implement a peer support program in an organization.

Past attendees include HR staff, CNOs, nurses, patient safety leads, VPs, physicians, pastoral care, educators and anyone with a passion to create a support program. 

Emergency Medical Services, Fire, Police and Dispatch may benefit greatly by attending the Center for Patient Safety's LifeGuard workshop, designed for First RespondersLifeGuard is a modified version of the Caring for Our Program. The LifeGuard program, developed with the support and participation of Dr. Scott, is designed specifically for the unique environment that exists within smaller, leaner organizations. The workshop aligns with the collaborative and educational format of the Caring for Our Own program and is facilitated by Dr. Scott, Shelby Cox, NREMT-P and Brian LaCroix, FACPE, CPPS, NRP (ret.).


Session 1

  1. Understand basic concepts of Second Victim Program: “Setting the Stage”
  2. Identify the Recovery Stages after a traumatic event or during challenging times
  3. Understand the outcomes: Dropping Out, Surviving, Thriving
  4. Begin conversations on next steps to implement a peer support network at your organization

Session 2

  1. Understand the three-tiered support model and how it might apply
  2. Review the types of stress and how they impact employees
  3. Increase personal ability to have a critical conversation
  4. Understand key components of a supportive conversation

Session 3

  1. Review the four steps to provide peer support for a colleague
  2. Describe the 6 steps to develop a peer support program
  3. Describe implementation ideas for your organization



Dr. Susan Scott, Ph.D., RN, CPPS, FAAN

Dr. Scott has practiced the art and science of nursing in a variety of clinical settings that include Neonatal ICU, Neonatal/Pediatric transport, ambulatory pediatrics, patient safety and legal nurse consulting. Her research interest involves the development of effective institutional support networks to address clinician support in the aftermath of unanticipated clinical outcomes and events. Her research has defined the second victim phenomenon allowing for the design and deployment of the ‘first of its kind’ peer support network, the forYOU Team. She has authored numerous articles and textbook chapters related to the topic of the second victim phenomenon and healthcare workforce well-being. Dr. Scott has partnered with agencies such as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, American Hospital Association, The Joint Commission, and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to ensure comprehensive clinician support interventions are accessible to healthcare institutions around the globe.


Thank you for the resources. Love this program. Dr. Scott is a gift.
Workshop Attendee
It was personal and still had statistics that are accurate and hit home. Easy to understand.
Workshop Attendee
Dr. Sue is very informative. I enjoyed the breakout opportunities to hear from different fields of nursing.
Workshop Attendee
I could relate to the outcomes of second victimization and see it demonstrated in coworkers. It is so exciting to know that this program will be developed for our staff.
Workshop Attendee
Dr. Scott is absolutely inspirational. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, passion,
and expertise.
Workshop Attendee
The small groups were helpful. Loved the fact that we can use the material and make it our own (credit given of course!).
Workshop Attendee
I liked learning how to help others in need of help; how to be a good listener; how to put a team together to help others in need. This program is a very important program that we don't see happening. I think it would be very vital to our peers. Thank you Dr Scott for all your help with this program.
Workshop Attendee


  • Supporting ‘Second Victims’ Also Helps Hospital Budgets
  • Supporting Second Victims with Emotional First Aid
  • What Any Caregiver Can Do to Support a Second Victim
  • Caring for the Caregiver: The RISE Program
  • Read about MU Health Care’s forYOU Team
  • Journal of Healthcare Risk Management, Risk managers’ descriptions of programs to support second victims after adverse events, Vol 34, Issue 4, 17 April 2015.
  • Journal of Nursing Care Quality, Alleviating “Second Victim” Syndrome: How We Should Handle Patient Harm, January/March 2012.
  • Patient Safety and Quality Healthcare, Clinician Support: Five Years of Lessons Learned, 3 April 2015.
  • Burlison, J.D., Quillivan, R.R., Scott, S.D., Johnson, S. and Hoffman, J.M. (2016). The effects of the second victim phenomenon on work-related outcomes: Connecting caregiver distress to turnover intentions and absenteeism.Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare. November 2, 2016.doi: 10.1097/PTS.0000000000000301.
  • Quillivan, R.R., Burlison, J.D., Browne, E.K., Scott, S.D., and Hoffman, J.M. (2016). Patient safety culture and the second victim phenomenon: Connecting culture to staff distress in nurses. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.42(8)377-386(10).
  • Scott, S.D. & McCoig, M. (2016). Care at the point of impact – Insights into the second victim experience. Journal of Healthcare Risk Management. 35(4),6-13.
  • VanGerven, E., Deweer, D., Scott, S.D., Panella, Massimiliano, P., Euwena, M., Serneus, W. & Vanhaecht. (2016, April) Personal, situational, and organizational determinants of the impact on physicians, nurses and midwives as second victims after a patient safety incident: A qualitative study. Journal of the Spanish Society for Quality Assurance. doi:10.1016/j.cali.2016.02.003.
  • Scott, S.D. (2015). Second victim support: Implications for patient safety attitudes and perceptions. Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare. 12(5), 26-31.
  • Miller, R.G., Scott, S.D., and Hirschinger, L.E. (2015). Improving patient safety: The intersection of safety culture, clinician and staff support, and patient safety organizations. Center for Patient Safety; Jefferson City, Missouri. September 2015.
  • Scott, S.D. (2015). The second victim experience: Mitigating the harm. American Nurse Today. September 2015. 10(9),8-11.