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Hospitals help caregivers cope with emotional aftermath of treating bombing patients

Rebecca Murphy, a social worker, helped Marathon bombing victims and their families.
Rebecca Murphy, a social worker, helped Marathon bombing victims and their families.Credit: Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

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In the weeks after the Marathon bombing, caregivers have reported persistent anxiety, sleeplessness,or trouble shaking images of the bombing’s aftermath. People who work in Boston’s hospitals are trained to deal with trauma, but most are unaccustomed to dealing with mass casualties caused by an attack in their own neighborhood, or working under lock-down.

Now hospitals are helping staff members process what they have experienced, with counseling sessions and interfaith services.

Massachusetts General Hospital provided free yoga, meditation, and massage to staff members last week. The chaplaincy program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital has been making rounds with tea and cookies. In the two weeks following the attack, Boston Medical Center’s employee assistance program handled five times the typical number of requests for individual counseling.

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