Hospital Workplace Violence - Self Defense Training For Nurses Includes Many Non-Combative Options

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Published: 21st November 2009
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Workplace violence in the healthcare sector has hit an all-time high! Statistics show that, typically, the average nurse is assaulted on the job 1 to 3 times a year and very few facilities have anything more than a "shell" policy to address this problem and prevent injury to it's staff.

Are
you concerned about the problem of workplace violence effecting nurses
and other medical professionals? Well, you're not alone.

In fact, the healthcare industry has awakened to this very real problem
in the past few years. Administrators have found that previous
assumptions and policies about workplace violence, as it relates to
hospitals and the medical industry in general, have done little to
deter or prevent the countless injuries to nurses and caregivers. In
fact, the problem has escalated to the point where the healthcare
profession is ranked third among all non-law enforcement and security occupations in the number of incidents which occur!

Third! Among all other professions!

And, the sad fact is that medical professionals are not being targeted by their own co-workers - but by their patients - the very people that they are trying to help!

Many
leaders, as-well-as staff-duty nurses who work with patients everyday,
are calling for more workplace violence self-defense training geared
toward nurses and patient care professionals. Unfortunately, most
administrators confuse self defense with fighting and therefore are
concerned about the possibility of more violence if their nurses and
staff members were trained in self defense tactics.

As a way to
show the difference between fighting and actual defensive tactics
training geared toward workplace violence prevention
, here are 4 areas
of workplace violence defensive tactics training that have absolutely
nothing to do with fighting
- and everything to do with empowering
doctors and nurses to avoid, evade, and prevent a dangerous workplace
violence attack from hurting them or others that they are responsible
for.

  • 1) Strategic Positioning. This is similar
    to what police officers are taught when knocking on doors, interacting
    with drivers during a traffic stop, etc. Nurses can be taught to adjust
    where they stand or position themselves relative to their patients to
    make it difficult for the person to hurt them if they lashed out and
    became violent.
  • 2) Body language. By becoming more aware of the
    conscious and unconscious interpretations that we can have when we see
    different body language cues, the caregiver can learn to avoid those
    that might trigger a negative response - while also choosing cues that
    can easily and effectively defuse a potentially hostile workplace
    violence situation.
  • 3) Vocal skills. This is the same as body language but
    where we can consciously and deliberately control the use of our voice.
    Speech patterns, rhythm, and vocal intonation can all be powerful tools
    for defending yourself in a workplace violence encounter.
  • 4) Environmental Control. Often, caregivers are
    trapped in a violent situation because of the layout of the clinic in
    which they work. Simple changes to your work environment - from exam
    rooms to customer service counters - can be made that will aid in
    avoidance, evasion, and escape tactics, while also serving to control
    the flow of action should a physical workplace violence attack occur.

As
you can see, if you're really looking for viable solutions to helping
your nursing staff to be able to employ self defense tactics to deal
with violence in the workplace, there are many more options available
than merely teaching them how to fight!

What if you could get
this type of training while also saving your organization from the
financial and other losses from lost-time, employee turn-over, legal
liability, and negative PR that often arise out of incidents involving
violence in the workplace? How? By instituting defensive training
tactics that both keeps your staff safe AND maintains a high level of
professionalism and liability control!


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