Even though little is known about the psychological effects of handling human remains during disaster situations, it is often presumed that health care workers are immune from such stressful emotional reactions. We present the observations and experiences of 10 uniformed health care workers who conducted body recovery operations in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on the Pentagon. Their experiences, although not under empirical study, reflect a wide variety of emotional reactions and coping strategies. Medical training and clinical exposure were believed to be somewhat protective by some but did not seem to prevent vulnerability to the emotional impact of their experiences.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health