Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York incorporates trauma-informed practices at both the clinical and organizational levels—taught to all patient-facing staff, as well as managers as a way to relate to their staff. This approach shifts the focus from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” allowing a more comprehensive view of a patient’s life situation— present and past —providing effective health care services with a healing orientation.
Trauma-informed practices have the potential to improve patient engagement, treatment adherence, and health outcomes. Providing trauma training is critical for not only clinical, but also for non-clinical employees. All providers become well-versed in how to create a trusting, non-threatening environment while interacting with patients. Non-clinical staff often interact with patients before, and with more frequency than, clinical staff and play an important role in trauma-informed settings. Staff in the call center, at the front-desk, and security guards often set the tone for the environment. Greeting people in a welcoming manner fosters a sense of safety and acceptance, initiates positive relationships, and increases the likelihood that patients will engage in treatment and return for future appointments.
Trauma-informed care can also help reduce burnout among employees, potentially reducing staff turnover and creates a safe working environment.