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Peer support team is here for you

21 May 2023

Clinicians and nurses provide confidential support 24/7

By: Talia Seabold, Executive Assistant to Ralph Yates, Chief Medical Officer and Matthew Boles, Executive Vice President of Surgical Services and Medical Affairs


Did you know there are dedicated clinicians and nursing staff available 24/7 for confidential peer-to-peer support for all Salem Health Hospital and Clinics employees and medical staff?

Since May 2018, the Salem Health peer support team has provided confidential peer-to-peer support for those experiencing emotional distress or enduring an adverse event in the workplace. The team also reaches out to those involved in serious adverse events affecting patients to ensure all clinicians and staff involved receive the care and resources they need to cope.  

Remember: this confidential resource is available to all Salem Health Hospital and Clinics employees and medical staff. Leaders, remind your staff the peer support team is here to help!

Who is the peer support team?

Peer supporters are volunteers from many disciplines — physicians, nurses and other staff trained in crisis support and stress management. We’re available to all employees and medical staff 24/7. Services are free and confidential.

How can peer support help me?

  • Ensure strict confidentiality.
  • Provide consistent, individualized support and guidance.
  • Offer resources like management teams to support you.
  • Assure you that your reaction is normal.
  • Increase awareness of the second victim phenomenon.
  • Provide second victims a “safe zone” to explore and express reactions that commonly occur after a stressful or traumatic event and help you cope.

What is a second victim?

If you’re feeling distress after a traumatic or stressful event, you could be a “second victim.” Second victims are often healthcare workers involved in unanticipated situations or patient-related events.

Symptoms of second victim syndrome:

  • Anger
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty returning to work
  • Extreme sadness
  • Fatigue
  • Fear
  • Flashbacks
  • Frustration
  • Grief and remorse
  • Headache
  • Isolation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle tension
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Self-doubt
  • Sleep disturbance

To learn more about the peer support team, click here. For help, call the confidential switchboard at 503-814-7337 (4-PEER internally).