Master of Arts
Research has identified 911 operators to be at great risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and burnout. In light of this finding, there is a need for preventive practices as well as and interventions for this population of emergency personnel. In the present study, the focus is on individual coping strategies of those with on-the-job experience.
To explore the coping strategies used by 911 operators, this study focused on a sample population of experienced workers. Data was gathered through qualitative semi-structured interviews conducted with a diverse sample of 911 operators from a Canadian police service. The interview data was analyzed using a qualitative content procedure. The resulting themes included personal traits and perspectives, support in the workplace, communication of feelings and needs, cultivating a work-life balance, taking time away from the problem, and addressing thoughts and feelings that arise in response to the problem. These themes are compared and contrasted with the available literature.
Summary for Lay Audience
Research has identified 911 operators to be at an increased risk for developing a variety of diagnoses and mental health symptoms. In order to understand how workers are able to mitigate these challenges and cope with the stressors associated with their position; the present study conducted interviews with experienced workers to gain insight into their use of coping strategies. Five 911 operators from a Canadian police service were interviewed about their experiences with stress and coping. Commonalities in their answers established six distinct themes of coping: personal traits and perspectives, support in the workplace, communication of feelings and needs, cultivating a work-life balance, taking time away from the problem, and addressing thoughts and feelings that arise in response to the problem. These themes offered insight into the various categories and methodologies of coping among 911 operators. The compiled data assisted in answering the research question: how have you coped with the stress of your position?
Vanderloop, Lisa, "Sustainable Coping Among Experienced 911 Operators" (2021). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 7681.