At the Law Offices of Gallner & Pattermann, P.C., we understand that any job can be stressful. However, some industries can be especially taxing on Iowa workers’ physical and mental health. As a first responder, you may be well aware of this fact.
First responders, comprising of police officers, firefighters, EMTs, medical staff, members of the military and others who arrive at the scene of an emergency or are the first to treat injured people, see a lot more throughout the course of their career than the average person ever experiences. You may be exposed to tragedy, chaos and even danger on a regular basis. Not surprisingly, as Psychology Today points out, you may be more prone to develop post-traumatic disorder, depression, anxiety and other emotional issues related to this difficult line of work. Work-related psychological disorders can spill over into your personal life, causing feelings of hopelessness, sleep problems, flashbacks, loss of interest in the things you love and even addictions to help you cope. Long-term PTSD and depression can also result in physical ailments, such as joint pain and high blood pressure.
The work culture for first responders can also be challenging. Your peers and superiors may tell you that disturbing scenarios are an inevitable part of the job and you should just learn to deal with it, or you could worry that you would be made fun of or looked down upon by seeking help for your emotional trauma.
It can help to know that you aren’t alone, as well as to understand that workers’ compensation is meant to cover psychological issues related to your job, as our page explains.