Second victim experiences of nurses in obstetrics and gynaecology: A Second Victim Experience and Support Tool Survey

Robyn E. Finney, Vanessa E. Torbenson, Kirsten A. Riggan, Amy L. Weaver, Margaret E. Long, Megan A. Allyse, Enid Y. Rivera-Chiauzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim (s): To investigate second victim experiences and supportive resources for nurses in obstetrics and gynaecology. Background: Nurses are at risk of developing second victim experiences after exposure to work related events. Methods: Nurses at a single institution were invited to participate in an anonymous survey that included the validated Second Victim Experience and Support Tool to assess symptoms related to second victim experiences and current and desired supportive resources. Results: Of 310 nurses, 115 (37.1%) completed the survey; 74.8% had not heard of the term ‘second victim’. Overall, 47.8% reported feeling like a second victim during their career and 19.1% over the previous 12 months. As a result of a second victim experience, 18.4% experienced psychological distress, 14.3% turnover intentions, 13.0% decreased professional self-efficacy, and 12.2% felt that institutional support was poor. Both clinical and non-clinical events were reported as possible triggers for second victim experiences. Peer support was the most desired form of support as reported by 95.5%. Conclusion(s): Nurses in obstetrics and gynaecology face clinical and non-clinical situations that lead to potential second victim experiences. Implications for Nursing Management: The second victim experiences of nurses should be acknowledged, and resources should be implemented to navigate it. Educational opportunities and peer supportive interventions specific to second victim experiences should be encouraged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)642-652
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nursing Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2021


  • adverse patient events
  • employee turnover
  • second victim phenomenon
  • trained peer support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management


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