Crisis: A Definition

Crisis is an acute emotional upset; it is manifested in an inability to cope emotionally, cognitively, or behaviorally and to solve problems as usual (Hoff, 2009).

In testimonials, we have heard from nurses who found themselves in crisis resulting from workplace violence. For some, the crisis was limited to the violent event and its immediate sequelae. For others, the post-crisis trauma persisted, requiring years of therapy.

It is also important to recognize that the perpetrators of violence are often themselves in crisis.

Later in this course we will look at the stages of crisis development and discuss intervention strategies. We will also discuss ways to help nurses in crisis to recover and return to work.

Page last reviewed: May 16, 2024