Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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The Ausmed Education Learning Centre is accredited with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation

Provider Number PO342.

CPD57m of CPD
First Published
Updated11 December 2023
Expires 30 December 2025
Recorded InMelbourne, Australia

Course Overview

Experiencing trauma can cause significant emotional distress and subsequent impairment to a person’s ability to live a satisfying life, yet it is highly common among the general population. Some who experience trauma will go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result, which can have serious consequences on their physical, emotional, cognitive and financial wellbeing.

This Ausmed Course provides healthcare professionals with a refreshed and up-to-date understanding of the difference between trauma and PTSD and how providing trauma-informed care, regardless of the setting, can drastically improve patient outcomes and wellbeing.

  • Defining trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • DSM-5-TR diagnostic criteria for PTSD and differential diagnoses
  • Types of trauma, prevalence and risk factors
  • Understanding triggers and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)
  • Treatment options and interventions
  • Practical strategies for providing trauma-informed care

It is estimated that up to 75% of Australians have experienced a traumatic event at some point in their lifetime. In 2020-21, 5.7% of the Australian population had experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

However, stigmas and other barriers regularly prevent help-seeking for people living with a mental health diagnosis. Additionally, research indicates that nurses also commonly self-report insufficient knowledge and low self-efficacy regarding PTSD education and training.

The provision of comprehensive mental health education is vital for reducing stigma, and through the integration of trauma education, clinicians can be better prepared to address this prevalent issue and improve patient outcomes and overall wellbeing.

It is therefore essential that healthcare professionals are equipped with the necessary knowledge to identify, support and provide effective trauma-informed care for all individuals, and especially those living with PTSD, in order to improve their care and outcomes.


To empower healthcare professionals with the knowledge and compassion to provide trauma-informed care and support to individuals living with trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) according to the DSM-5-TR diagnostic criteria and Australian guidelines.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Distinguish between trauma and PTSD according to the DSM-5-TR criteria and best-practice guidelines.
  2. Analyse how traumatic events can lead to the development of PTSD.
  3. Apply an understanding of the role of triggers when providing trauma-informed care in your practice.
  4. Advocate for the importance of providing individualised care plans inclusive of trauma-informed principles and best-practice therapeutic strategies.
  5. Understand the significance of early diagnosis, professional assistance and destigmatisation in order to best support individuals living with PTSD.
Target Audience

Registered nurses, mental health nurses, paramedics and other healthcare workers looking to increase their understanding of trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder and providing trauma-informed care.


No conflict of interest exists for anyone in the position to control content for this activity. Wherever possible, generic or non-proprietary names of medications or products have been used.


Presented by
educator profile image
Geoffrey Ahern View profile
Geoffrey Ahern is a senior mental health clinician with the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the North West Mental Health Team, and director of the Informed Mind Consultancy education service. Geoffrey has experience in emergency, trauma and psychiatric nursing, as well as rural nursing and alcohol and drug counselling. Geoffrey has a passion for education, from individual mentoring to tertiary lecturing, and is interested in the intersections between mental health and nutrition.
CPD time57m
First Published
Updated11 December 2023
30 December 2025
Recorded InMelbourne, Australia
Learning Tools
Mental Health
Trauma-Informed Care
Clinical Assessment
Patient Safety
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