Introduction: The study examines some aspects of "118" Italian Public Health Emergency Service. The theoretical framework refers to Emergency Psychology, researches about health operators’ stress and Empowerment theory as a prevention strategy. The aim is to describe the dispatcher’s perceived wellbeing and the difficulties during their work, emerging from their accounts about carried out activities. Methods: 18 semi-structured interviews, analyzed by Grounded Theory. Results: The content analysis of the interviews shows that dispatch center specific fea- tures and negative communications with callers are the main difficulties. Also emotional aspects and stress indicators are highlighted. Discussion and conclusion: Results underline an operators’ lack of perceived selfefficacy, the presence of stress (and probably burnout), the attempt to manage it and to receive more support from colleagues. Developing self and social empowerment could be a suitable strategy, in order to improve health and emergency services.
Keywords: Emergency Psychology, relationship with callers, operators’ wellbeing, stress, social empowerment, qualitative research