"Critical incident debriefing" is the term used to describe a formal method of managing people who have been exposed to some sort of traumatic situation. In the history of the CICM Part II Exam, the trainees have been put in that position several times:
They are all basically identical, and in these questions the candidates were asked to conduct a discussion with a junior trainee who had killed (or almost killed) somebody.
Answers to these sorts of questions have little evidence base to support them. It is not exactly something you can run a double-blind RCT on. Most articles which discuss this topic in any depth reference an 1988 publication by Jeffrey T Mitchell, "Stress. The history, status and future of critical incident stress debriefings" - which is not available as free full text from anywhere. The next best reference is probably the 1994 update by the same author ("Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) and the Prevention of Work-Related Traumatic Stress among High Risk occupational Groups"). The definitive reference would have to be something from the non-profit International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, who offer numerous resources. An even better resource for the time-poor trainee is a summary by Mitchell himself (the name of the article seems to be Critical Incident Stress Debriefing, but it is not very well referenced by www.firefighterveteran.com). These resources were blended with a healthy dollop of what this autor can only describe as creating writing, and are offered below as one possible approach to answering a CICM critical incident management SAQ.
An excellent article by Laurent et al (2014) explores the reactions of notoriously Type A Intensive Care staff to their own errors. It is unfortunately not available for free. However, if one were to get a hold of it somehow, one would find that in the month following the error:
According to Bledsoe (2003), at no stage has anybody demonstrated any benefit from this process. This assesrtion comes on the back of several attempts at meta-analysis. For instance, Harris et al (2002) surveyed a large number of trauma-exposed firefighters and found that critical incident debriefing did nothing to reduce the risk of PTSD.
CICM: GUIDELINES FOR ASSISTING TRAINEES WITH DIFFICULTIES (T-13), 2010
Mitchell, Jeffrey T. "Stress. The history, status and future of critical incident stress debriefings." JEMS: a journal of emergency medical services 13.11 (1988): 46-7.
Mitchell, Jeffrey T., and George S. Everly Jr. "Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) and the Prevention of Work-Related Traumatic Stress among High Risk occupational Groups." Psychotraumatology: Key papers and core concepts in post-traumatic stress (1994): 267.
Bledsoe, Bryan E. "C RITICAL I NCIDENT S TRESS M ANAGEMENT (CISM): B ENEFIT OR R ISK FOR E MERGENCY S ERVICES?."Prehospital Emergency Care 7.2 (2003): 272-279.
Harris, Morag B., Mustafa Baloğlu, and James R. Stacks. "Mental health of trauma-exposed firefighters and critical incident stress debriefing." Journal of Loss &Trauma 7.3 (2002): 223-238.
Laurent, Alexandra, et al. "Error in intensive care: psychological repercussions and defense mechanisms among health professionals." Critical care medicine 42.11 (2014): 2370-2378.