I haven't been a nurse that long, but my dad's a vet, so I've seen PTSD. I sometimes get a little twinge of a panic attack, especially if I've had a run of really bad nights, but no true PTSD yet.
Only 2 things so far have given me nightmares and panicky twinges....keep in mind, rural hospital, ICU stepdown unit, not a urban Level one, but we still do have a "gun and knife club"....
Had a knife pulled on me, guy was going thru the DTs but wasn't at the 4 pt place yet in our matrix. We'd searched him, and later the family admitted that he was "scared of being in the hospital" so they gave him a 4.5 inch knife. He'd ripped IV line in half, I went in to do a restart, and he starts telling me he's going to cut me if I come near him. I tried to reorient him, and he swiped at me with the knife. I have never been so angry in my life. I told him to drop the f**** knife or I was going to make him eat it. I was ticked off like you would NOT believe, and I guess between me being too mad to have the sense to run and the shakes, he did drop it. Security made the scene, got the knife out from under the other bed where I'd kicked it, and I four pointed the guy. All the time he's screaming he's going to kill me, he's going to have his brother waiting for me in the parking lot, etc. My extent of "after incident response" was my manager asking what I'd done to provoke the guy. Uh...nothing. I guess I should have let him stab me to avoid damaging his self esteem
The other was a young woman dying from untreated breast CA. She lost her job when the local plant got moved offshore, so no healthcare. Found a lump, couldn't afford to do anything about it, so when she finally came in for SOB, it had mets'd into both lungs, brain, liver, bones, etc. They tried radiation and chemo at that point, but it was too late. Woman was in such denial, she remained a full code. When she did code (thank god I was off that day) I don't think anyone exactly ran with the code cart. I think just seeing what was essentially untreated breast CA (orange peel skin, tumors that had ruptured and were leaking stuff that looked and smelled hideous, both nipples gone) was enough to give most of us nightmares, and there were two nurses who just couldn't take her as a patient.
Our "support staff" is each other, and of course, if anyone even THINKS you may want to call employee health, you're going to be eased out the door since you "can't take it." I saw that after a MVA came in with 3 kids, none of which made it out of the ER. One nurse who identified with the kids (hers were about the same ages) called to talk to someone "anonymously" and word got back to her supervisor, and out the door she went.