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This study explored stress and well-being among emergency medical dispatchers (EMDs) who remotely provide crisis intervention to medical emergencies through telehealth support. Semistructured interviews with 16 EMDs were conducted, and interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to identify themes in the data. Results indicated that despite their physical distance from the crisis scene, EMDs can experience vicarious trauma through acute and cumulative exposure to traumatic incidents and their perceived lack of control, which can expound feelings of helplessness. Three superordinate themes of operational stress and trauma, organizational stress, and posttraumatic growth were identified. Practical implications are suggested to enable emergency services organizations to counteract this job-related stress and promote more positive mental health outcomes.

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Journal Article

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