NOT IN VAIN: THE VALUE OF A VIOLENCE PREVENTION
IN A HEALTH CARE FACILITY
P. McAvella, B. Hershey
Violence is rampant in society and the potential
for an increase in violent episodes exists in our hospitals. Recognition
of these facts, hastened our actions to modify our approach to this
problem, and improve the level of effectiveness in dealing with
incidents of disruptive and assaultive behaviour. The method chosen
was utilization of the National Crisis Prevention Institute model,
specifically, the Non-Violent Crisis Prevention Program.
The aim of this program was to assist staff
in developing their knowledge, skill and confidence to handle violent
situations with minimal anxiety and maximum security. This paper
describes the experience of launching the program. The focus is
on staff education, implementation strategies and the evaluation
The modified "Code White" program
became effective in 1991. To date, over 300 hospital staff have
participated in the introductory education sessions and annual refresher
courses. Staff evaluations of the program outcomes were very positive
and have been rated by staff to be at the 80-100% effectiveness
level. The observation of a safer environment for staff and patients
has been endorsed repeatedly.
Safe management of potentially violent situations
in our health care facilities is a current professional and ethical
issue of critical importance. Ongoing commitment of managers and
all levels of staff, in this program, can enhance therapeutic rapport
with patients and families, decrease incidents of acting out behaviour
and lower the risk of potential liability actions, as a result of
injuries to both patients and staff.
If you are encountering incidents of violence
in your facility, feel encouraged and optimistic! This approach
to violence management is effective
and not in vain!