• Desislava Todorova Department of Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Public Health, Medical University - Sofia
  • Tsvetelina Mihaylova Department of Medical Pedagogy, Faculty of Public Health, Medical University - Sofia
  • Rumyana Etova Department of Epidemiology and Disaster Medicine, Faculty of Public Health,, Medical University - Plovdiv


medical staff, behavior, change, disasters


Introduction. In disaster situations, medical professionals involved in emergency care and treatment find themselves facing a number of new challenges other than normal work. The need for new knowledge in this area increases with the changes in nature and society. Material and methods. The purpose of this article is to study medical professionals as individuals engaged in specific activity in difficult for them both as individuals and as health professionals time - in exceptional circumstances and disasters. A documentary sociological method for research, processing and analysis of sources in scientific journals on the topics "emergencies", "disasters" and "psychology" is applied. Results. Reactions to professional stress can be characterized as physiological, psychological and behavioral. Disasters raise the question of the need to stimulate a more conscious approach to action, based on the link between situational requirements, personal needs and behavioral responses. Emergencies are a major challenge for those helping. On the one hand, they interact with people who have experienced severe stress, who are confused, helpless, numb or hyperactive. On the other hand, the health professionals themselves are exposed to excessive emotional stress, which can exceed their ability to perceive and make sense of what happened. In order to overcome the negative emotions of the person in an extreme situation and to strengthen its conscious will regulation, it is necessary to develop the skills for reflection of the experiences by recognizing them, to understand what is happening in the specific context, to realize one's own needs and to choose appropriate actions for the situation. Conclusions. Occupational stress and burnout in medical staff are a problem in both pre- and disaster periods. The interpretation of their role is possible in two aspects: through the prism of the professional and through the prism of the personal (as people). Disasters raise and influence additional factors that are absent in the pre-disaster periods. Strategies for dealing with disaster situations are determined by the individual characteristics of the person, the rational approach to dealing with stress, the effectiveness of reorganising the work, social support, etc. The study found that the topic of occupational stress in current healthcare is widely covered in the literature. It is necessary to develop the topics of the peculiarities of stress in disasters and the effects of emergencies and disasters on the psyche and behavior of medical staff.




How to Cite

Todorova, D., Mihaylova, T., & Etova, R. (2020). IMPACT OF EMERGENCY AND DISASTER SITUATIONS ON THE BEHAVIOUR OF MEDICAL STAFF. KNOWLEDGE - International Journal, 41(3), 625–633. Retrieved from