As a health care worker, you may often find yourself in high-stress environments—waiting rooms, emergency departments, behavioral health units, etc. While health care settings are essential places of healing, they are also commonly home to crisis situations and verbal abuse.
Here are some of the statistics on violence against health care workers:

Workplace violence is something often considered a “normal occurrence,” but, it can be mitigated with the proper de-escalation techniques.

Our Workplace Violence Continuum of Behaviors shows the escalation of workplace violence, from discourtesy up to and including physical aggression.


The Importance of De-escalation Training

Many regulations and state laws require training for all health care workers. This requirement covers everyone who encounters individuals in a health care setting—from nurses, doctors, and social workers to security, pharmacy, and customer service staff.

Start the process of helping your team members become safer by viewing our Risk Stratification Matrix. The matrix demonstrates the degrees of risk that different departments face and helps determine the best mix of training to make your hospital measurably safer.

Our results speak for themselves. Click here to see how health care settings like yours have seen results with CPI training.

De-escalation Tips You Can Use Immediately

The Joint Commission recommends training all staff using de-escalation techniques as soon as threatening language and agitation are identified. Guiding staff using CPI’s “Top 10 De-Escalation Tips” is a great resource for breaking down the fundamental strategies from CPI training.

Joint Commission’s recommended actions

In the Sentinel Event Alert mentioned above, The Joint Commission suggests seven actions your facility can take to be ready when violence against health care workers—or the potential for violence—occurs:

1. Clearly define workplace violence and put systems into place across the organization that enable staff to report workplace violence instances, including verbal abuse.
CPI can help you develop a definition of workplace violence that includes the full range of behaviors staff might encounter. Additionally, our Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® program gives you tools to train staff in documenting and reporting verbal (and physical) incidents as part of the debriefing process. We also offer industry-leading supports like troubleshooting guidance, plus reporting tools and supplemental training on incident reporting.

2. Recognizing that data come from several sources, capture, track and trend all reports of workplace violence – including verbal abuse and attempted assaults when no harm occurred.
CPI’s debriefing model and documentation tools can help you capture, track, and trend all incidents of workplace violence, including verbal abuse and physical aggression. Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training also helps you use Postvention for prevention; use incident reviews to guide you in making changes to prevent similar situations from happening.

3. Provide appropriate follow-up and support to victims, witnesses, and others affected by workplace violence, including psychological counseling and trauma-informed care if necessary.
The CPI COPING Model guides you through the process of giving caring, constructive support to everyone involved in an incident—victims, witnesses, staff, patients, family members, or visitors.

The core belief and teaching of Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training is that everyone deserves to be treated with care and safety.

Everyone should be empowered to provide safe, caring treatment for themselves and others. As part of this, we’ll help you incorporate trauma-informed care best practices into your staff trainings, policies, and procedures.

4. Review each case of workplace violence to determine contributing factors. Analyze data related to workplace violence, and worksite conditions, to determine priority situations for intervention.
When you use CPI’s prevention, response, and debriefing protocols, you’ll find determining contributing factors to be one of your most crucial and effective tools.

5. Develop quality improvement initiatives to reduce incidents of workplace violence.
Facilities that work with CPI choose us because they want to create lasting, positive, ongoing change that pays off in terms of time, money, and people.

6. Train all staff, including security, in de-escalation, self-defense and response to emergency codes.
The Joint Commission recommends training all staff to handle and prevent violence against health care workers.

With CPI training for all staff, you can break the cycle of workplace violence. You’ll learn verbal de-escalation skills, how to block and move away from strikes and grabs, how to respond to and reduce emergency codes, and many more skills that can be life-saving at the most, and job-enhancing to say the least.

7. Evaluate workplace violence reduction initiatives.
CPI is always here to help you evaluate your initiatives and keep making improvements every day.

More Joint Commission Standards

The Joint Commission also has several additional standards that CPI can help you meet. They include: